Company files eight new lawsuits, seeking injunctions and as much as $1 million in fines.
Microsoft has filed eight more lawsuits against nearly 200 alleged spammers in the past two weeks, stepping up a year-old legal campaign against senders of junk E-mail.
The current round of lawsuits--Microsoft has filed 80 such suits worldwide--seeks injunctions against the defendants and may result in civil fines of as much as $1 million per defendant under the federal Can-Spam Act and Washington state laws. One person named, John Hites of Florida, is one of the world's most prolific spammers, according to nonprofit anti-spam group Spamhaus.org.
Microsoft and other big Internet service providers have been using a mix of technological and legal remedies to crack down on spam. The Federal Trade Commission last week said it won settlements from two senders of "phishing" E-mails that tried to dupe America Online subscribers into disclosing bank-account numbers and other information. Also last week, AT&T Wireless, Charles Schwab, IBM, and other companies formed a group to promote standards that could guard against identity theft.
According to Gartner, 57 million U.S. adults have received phishing E-mail; more than 75% of those arrived in the last six months.
But Bart Lazar, a partner at national law firm Seyfarth Shaw, gives the legal broadside against spammers mixed marks. The FTC last week said it wouldn't create a "do not spam" registry for fear it could be hacked. Says Lazar: "To say this has been anything more than moderately successful would unfortunately be an overstatement."
The Business of Going DigitalDigital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.