The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Friday, October 27, 2006

I win my second lawsuit on jurisdiction!

This just in: Judge Irby has dismissed (pdf, 7 pages) Jerry Reynolds' computer crimes case against me for lack of jurisdiction.

The computer crimes case is this: Spam-fighter David Ritz is accused of computer crime for "stealing" Jerry Reynolds' DNS data by doing a "host -l" command to perform a DNS zone transfer. He's also accused — and I'm not making this up — of stealing Reynolds' Whois data.

Anyway, I was named as co-defendant because I linked to the Usenet post in which Ritz announced the results. Reynolds also obtained a TRO forbidding Ritz or myself from discussing Reynolds' servers in any way — achieving Reynolds' true goal of censoring my web page which discussed his spamming history. Armed with this TRO, Reynolds was also able to censor Usenet posts discussing his spamming activities.

As it is in the nature of lawyers to ask you not to discuss cases, I've mostly kept quiet about this one. Now that the case is no longer pending, and the TRO is no longer in effect, I have "unhidden" a number of previous posts about the case:
  • Second court hearing — discusses the upcoming jurisdiction hearing on the case
  • Today's court hearing — discusses how the hearing went. It dragged on forever and had to be continued. The best part was when my lawyer Kelly Wallace started tearing Reynolds' friend/sysadmin Brad Allison apart. When the questions got pointed and Allison started rocking back and forth in his chair, Reynolds' lawyer Harristhal stood up and used every trick he could think of to stop the hearing, finally obtaining success with "I have a plane to catch".
  • Little bit of good news in jurisdiction hearing — Harristhal's request for more expert witnesses was denied.
  • Legal documents — all legal documents are now available at Some are quite large (they're scanned pdfs) and most are quite boring. The high points are the parts where:
    • Harristhal quietly dropped my lawyer out of the loop and was thus able to obtain a default judgement against me.
    • The part where they admit to doing dns lookups on Ritz (which is exactly what Ritz is accused of)
    • Various conspiracy theory nonsense
    • Request for admission that I used whois. Yeah, really.
    • Request for admission from Ritz that he didn't have permission to use DNS.
    • The transcripts, which are plain text, quick to download, and kind of fun to read.
  • Documentation on the forged cancels that Reynolds or someone helping him issued in order to delete all the evidence from the usenet archives that I would have used to defend myself in the defamation case.
Hmmm. Looks like I didn't write anything about the continued hearing. No matter, the transcript is available here (part 1, part 2). The second half wasn't very exciting.

After the court hearing, there really wasn't much to do but wait for Judge Irby's decision. Harristhal tried a couple of tricks in the meantime, such as insisting that our statute of limitations on opposing the default judgement had expired while we were waiting for the jurisdiction decision, but the judge wasn't buying it.

The computer crimes case against David Ritz is still pending, and I will report on this from time to time as it progresses.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir: as someone who has been fighting spammers for a couple years now outside the courtroom let me just say: I salute you.

The more scum we can get off the internet and out of the courtrooms via whatever means, the better. I wish a direct link could be made between spamming and terrorism. That's the only thing that will make international law enforcement sit up and take more notice of the rampant illegal abuse that goes on every day against normal citizens like you and I.

Thanx for posting this. Makes my day everytime I see yet another incompetent legal representative on the side of idiotic illegal spammers.


6:28 AM  
Blogger Spam Diaries said...

Actually, international law enforcement seems to be catching up, see for instance the recent $5.5M fine on Wayne Mansfield in Australia. Even China is starting to crack down on spam.

The last pro-spam holdouts in the first world seem to be the United States and Great Britain.

9:32 AM  
Blogger my0p said...

thanks for posting this, very interesting to read.

12:55 AM  

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