The Spam Diaries

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Apalling judgement in the David Ritz case

I've been waiting with bated breath for the last few weeks to find out how David Ritz's lawsuit turned out. It turns out that the reason I hadn't heard is that the court slammed him with an unbelievable gag order. Among many other things, he's not allowed to discuss this case in detail. The transcripts have even been sealed.

Luckily, Mickey Chandler, who runs Spamsuite has been able to obtain a copy of the court judgement.

Spamsuite describes this as "12 pages of bad law". That's putting it mildly to say the least. The court has ruled, in essence, that because Ritz knows more about network administration than the average user, that everything he does with that knowledge is criminal. The court ruling is full of statements that I find frankly outrageous, but without access to the court transcripts, they're impossible to refute in detail.

I'm hoping that it will be possible to get this case unsealed so we can see what actually happened in the courtroom.

I'm also hoping that this will be appealed. I've never seen such an ignorant decision in a court case before, and this needs to be fought not only for David's benefit, but for the benefit of anybody who wants to continue using standard forensic tools in the fight against spam.

But appeal or no appeal, David's legal expenses continue to pile up. Please take a minute and donate to David's defense fund, either at this web page or by sending a check directly to his lawyers at:

David Ritz
c/o Debra S. Koenig
Godfrey and Kahn, S.C.
780 N Water Street
Milwaukee WI 53202

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Blogger Mark Mumma, the WebGuy said...

Looks like business as usual to me. When it comes to spam fighters, no good deed goes unpunished.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The FIGHT AGAINST SPAM! HAHA... You guys seriously need to find something better to do with your time.

9:28 AM  

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