FTC Settles With Alleged Spammers

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has settled charges against two alleged spammers who used what the FTC called "deceptively bland subject lines," false return addresses, and other methods to lure unsuspecting consumers, including children, to sexually explicit material. The FTC announced this week a settlement with Brian D. Westby of Ballwin, Missouri, and Martijn P. Bevelander a Netherlands resident, who allegedly used unsolicited e-mail to drive business to adult Web sites titled "Married But Lonely." The settlement bars the two from using false subject lines and false header information in e-mail and requires that the defendants give up $112,500 earned from their spamming efforts.

The defendants faced no charges under the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act, which went into effect January 1, because the spamming activity happen before CAN-SPAM became law, the FTC says. Westby's lawyer, Sean Moynihan, of the Klein, Zelman, Rothermel & Dichter law firm in New York, says his client is glad to put the case behind him. "While we didn't feel anything Mr. Westby did was improper or in any way affected the purchasing decisions of consumers, we understood the economic reality of litigating this case," Moynihan says.

News source: PCWorld

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