The Spam Diaries

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

News on David Ritz case

As I've written before on occasion, former porn spammer Jerry Reynolds filed a couple of SLAPP lawsuits against me over my old anti-spam website. In addition, he sued spam-fighter David Ritz for running "unauthorized" DNS lookups on his servers.*

Obviously David isn't really being sued over a few DNS lookups; he's being sued for being a thorn in Reynolds' side during the years when he was trying to get the Netzilla/Sexzilla porn spam operation to stop spamming.

At any rate, the trial in David's case started this week. I don't have access to a lot of information coming from the trial, but I did just receive word that plaintiff's motion to exclude David's expert witness was denied. It's not much, but it's good to know that the first news from the trial is good news.

Just a reminder that David's legal expenses are mounting. You can help by donating to his legal fund at: David Ritz; c/o Debra S. Koenig; Godfrey and Kahn, S.C.; 780 N Water Street; Milwaukee WI; 53202. Or, if you like, you can donate by paypal or credit card.

And finally, the auction for a copy of the Encyclopedia of Spam closes in just one day. Currently, the bidding is so low that the winner will get it for less than it cost me to have it bound. Here's your chance to own a very rare conversation piece. Proceeds go to David's defense fund. (Sorry, not available in North Dakota.)

*For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of the internet, a DNS lookup is equivalent to calling up a switchboard and asking for a phone number. For example, if you want to call your local library, you don't punch L-I-B-R-A-R-Y into your phone, you first look up the number that belongs to the library, and then punch that in. By the exact same token, if you want to connect your web browser to, you first go do a DNS server lookup to get the IP address of and then make your connection. The difference is that the lookup process is done automatically for you by your browser.

That's right, every single one of you do hundreds of DNS lookups every day. You had to do one just to read this blog. Yet this is exactly what David Ritz is being sued for.

The other things David are accused of doing are a zone transfer and a whois lookup. A zone transfer is equivalent to calling the library and asking for a copy of their phone list. A whois lookup is equivalent to going to the county clerk's office and looking up the owner of a property.

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