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The DMA s Cerasale Argues That A Private Right-of- Action Only Creates "Double-Victims" of Spam; Does Nothing to Reduce Unseemly E-mail
WASHINGTON, DC, February 12, 2004 The DMAs Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Jerry Cerasale, recently responded to press reports of some "anti-spam" advocates who are calling for a private right-of-action (the right to file individual lawsuits) in future national anti-spam legislation:
"Private right-of-action does not reduce the volume of spam and, in fact, potentially creates new tiers of victims those who are forced to defend themselves against frivolous lawsuits, and those who use their rights to spend money and sue against the wrong individuals," said Cerasale.
"Having a private right-of-action to sue spammers would only create more victims of spam than before," Cerasale added. "Spammers are renowned for hiding their tracks as they evade both spam filters and spam laws and the primary way they do so is by making it appear that someone else is sending their spam.
"The largest anti-spam filtering companies have estimated that as much as two-thirds of all spam circulating the Internet is sent via innocent personal computers that have been hijacked by spammers. And in Utah, where state law allowed individual lawsuits against spammers, over one-third of those cases have been dismissed because the people sued did not send spam! That didn't mean that they weren't still socked with legal bills in effect, becoming double-victims of spam," said Cerasale.
"If there were a private right-of-action built into the CAN SPAM Act, the entire country would be suing each other over the last two weeks," Cerasale explained. "The infamous "MyDoom" virus, which has touched virtually every Internet user in the globe, propagates itself by taking over your e-mail address and sending out more virus e-mails under your name."