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Protecting the Lonely Spamleteer

Since Shopfloor.org is down momentarily because of an overload of spam -- whoever Olgunka is, may she suffer -- so this news migrates over here. The Supreme Court of Virginia has agreed to review the conviction of a Jeremy D. Jaynes, sentenced in 2004 to nine years in prison for violating Virginia's Anti-Spam Act; he was sending out as many as 10 million spam messages a day. (Court order here.) From the Richmond Times Dispatch: "Yesterday, however, the justices agreed to hear arguments on whether Jaynes could challenge the anti-spam law as unconstitutional in general, even if it was constitutionally applied to him."

A First Amendment challenge, for crying out loud. One which Justice Steven Agee says he would grant, writing in a separate opinion: "I would find Code § 18.2-152.3:1 unconstitutionally overbroad on its face because it prohibits the anonymous transmission of all unsolicited bulk e-mails including those containing political, religious or other speech protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. I would therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and vacate Jaynes' convictions of violations of Code § 18.2-152.3:1.2."

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.