The UK’s Information Commissioner is warning that a recent decision by a judge refusing to let a marketing company be fined for sending millions of spam messages could open the floodgates on unsuspecting Brits. The company, Tetrus Telecoms, was originally fined over $700,000 USD for sending millions of text spam messages, but an appeals court threw it out. The judge explained his decision by saying spam is just a “minor nuisance” and not damaging enough to merit any punishment.
As a result the Information Commissioner fears this may encourage other spammers to launch massive campaigns knowing they won’t be prosecuted. He says the ruling makes the agency, which is charged with protecting UK citizens from spam and junk mail, powerless since the judge has essentially taken away their ability to levy fines against spammers. The judge has not commented on the outrage following his decision but we can only hope he’s getting an earful from someone. How anyone could proclaim spam is not really a nuisance and doesn’t cause substantial damage or distress is beyond belief. That judge is either so computer illiterate that he’s unable to understand, or otherwise hopelessly out of touch.
Thankfully here in the U.S. we have the CAN-SPAM Act which would prevent a judge from doing what that one did. Spammers who violate the act are punished, and the only way their fine could be thrown out on appeal is if they could prove they were not actually in violation.
What do you think of this judge’s ruling? Do you think it will lead to an increased spam problem in the UK? Why or why not?