Anti-Spam Organization Files Largest Anti-Spam Suit in U.S. History
ALEXANDRIA, VA - Project Honey Pot filed suit in the Eastern District of Virginia seeking damages for spam and email address harvesting targeting the Project’s members. The suit was filed against the entire universe of John Doe defendants using any of the 2,593,657 IP addresses captured by Project Honey Pot over the past two years, and seeks potentially more than $1 billion in statutory damages under the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act and the State of Virginia’s Anti-Spam statute.
“Our members have one thing in common: they all want spam to stop,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder of Project Honey Pot and CEO of Unspam Technologies, Inc. “Aided by the vast amount of data our community of volunteers has helped gather, as well as the top legal minds in the anti-spam world, we are bringing this fight to the spammers. This suit will make them slither out from under the rocks where they’re hiding.”
Project Honey Pot is represented in the suit by Jon Praed of the Washington, D.C.-based firm the Internet Law Group. Mr. Praed and the ILG make a living putting spammers out of business and have been responsible for some of the leading anti-spam prosecutions including Verizon Online v. Alan Ralsky, AOL v. CN Productions, and AOL v. Cyber Entertainment Network.
“Project Honey Pot’s community-based approach has been critical to developing a suit of this scope,” explained Mr. Praed. “It is important to remember that this is a group of volunteers who have pooled their resources in order to gather the data necessary to go after the worst spammers in the world. This is literally the Internet community as a whole standing up and saying, ’We’re sick of spam, and it’s high time we do something about it!’”
This suit represents the first time U.S. law has been used to challenge the practice of email harvesting, something CAN-SPAM imposes enhanced penalties for. Harvesting is the use of spidering programs to trawl the Internet stealing email addresses. While the practice is the primary way spammers build their email lists, without the data gathered by Project Honey Pot it has been a challenge for anyone to bring a suit against harvesters.
“If you’ve engaged in spamming or harvesting in the last two years, then chances are you’re on our radar screen,” explained Mr. Prince. “And you should sleep a little less well tonight.”
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