EarthLink fries up more spam suits

The violations highlighted in the four complaints read almost like a laundry list of the activities outlawed by Can-Spam.

Matt Hines Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Matt Hines
covers business software, with a particular focus on enterprise applications.
Matt Hines
2 min read
EarthLink said Wednesday that it has filed four new lawsuits against alleged spammers in California, Florida, Nevada and Washington state.

The Internet service provider said that all four claims, which were filed in the U.S. District Court of Atlanta during January, charge defendants with violating the Can-Spam Act, the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Georgia Computer Systems Protection Act, in addition to state and federal racketeering laws.

Atlanta-based EarthLink has been active in its legal efforts to halt unsolicited e-mail; the company recently won a settlement against the so-called Alabama Spammers, for example.

Related story
EarthLink puts stop
to 'Alabama spammers'

The two men were charged
with masterminding a "massive
scheme of theft, spamming
and spoofing." But they've
agreed not to send any
more unsolicited e-mail.

In the lawsuits, EarthLink is seeking unspecified financial damages and asking the courts to prevent the accused parties from spamming consumers in the future.

"EarthLink is committed to protecting the Internet," Larry Slovensky, assistant general counsel for EarthLink, said in a statement. "We will continue to pursue litigation, technical solutions, consumer education and legislative support to help ensure the quality of the Internet experience for all users."

The violations highlighted in the four suits read like a laundry list of the activities outlawed by Can-Spam. Among the acts listed in the suits are the usage of spoofed e-mail addresses, failure to include physical addresses in e-mails, use of deceptive subject lines, employment of false and misleading header information, failure to provide an opt-out feature, failure to properly identify e-mail senders, and use of automated programs to generate e-mail addresses.

In its case against Gregory Lars Alsing of Elk Grove, Calif., and Impression Media, in Las Vegas, the ISP has charged the defendants with generating hundreds of thousands of fraudulent e-mails during 2004 that marketed cable descramblers and fraudulent college diplomas. In addition, the lawsuit charges the defendants with using so-called "text randomizers" to insert long strings of gibberish into messages in order to circumvent EarthLink's spam filters.

The company's suit against Craig Brockwell of Miami, and BC Alliance, of Sunrise, Fla., alleges that the defendants sent hundreds of thousands of deceptive e-mails advertising discount inkjet printer cartridges and other printer supplies.

Another claim--against Christina Reese, Angela Nickerson, a company known as YamboCS, and a collection of unnamed parties, all based in Redmond, Wash.--charges the defendants with creating tens of thousands of fraudulent and deceptive e-mails advertising pornographic Web sites.

The fourth lawsuit, against Peter Moshou of Auburndale, Fla., and other unnamed individuals, levels charges of generating large volumes of e-mail during 2004 and early 2005 that solicited personal information by offering brokerage services for people interested in selling time-share properties.

None of the defendants were immediately available for comment.

EarthLink has unleashed what may be the most visible attack on spammers by any ISP, winning what it claims are multimillion-dollar judgments in several cases, including a $16.4 million judgment and settlement against Howard Carmack, once known as the "Buffalo Spammer."