We often pay for the space used by our stored mail; we definitely do when it exceeds our bytes allowance, therefore unsolicited promotional mail is not just an invasion of privacy but also an abuse of peoples money.
It is therefore refreshing to learn that California has won a landmark judgement with its first anti-spam ruling after a court fined a marketing firm $2m for sending out millions of unsolicited e-mails telling people how to spam. The case was against PW Marketing of Los Angeles County and its owners, Paul Willis and Claudia Griffin in 2002, under a 1998 state anti-spam law.
The state attorney, Bill Lockyer, also said the owners illegally tapped into computer users' network connections so the company could send e-mail that could not be traced back to its source. The law was strengthened last month to make it easier to sue spammers. After 1 January, the state's anti-spam laws will get tougher and will also allow private individuals to sue spammers and collect damages of up to $1,000 per e-mail.