FTC moves to stop X-Rated Spamming

Tuesday, January 11th 2005, 11:20 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Federal Trade Commission has shut down six companies it accused of sending X-rated e-mails in disguise and fraudulently charging recipients who joined sexually explict Web sites in its first legal case involving pornographic Internet spam.

A federal judge on Jan. 5 granted the agency's request for a restraining order against the companies and their executives for allegedly violating federal laws governing commercial electronic mail _ commonly known as spam.

The Nevada companies named in the FTC complaint were Global Net Solutions Inc., Open Space Enterprises Inc., Southlake Group Inc., and WTFRC Inc., which does business as Reflected Networks Inc.

Also named in the complaint were Global Net Vetures Ltd., of the United Kingdom and Wedlake Ltd., whose headquarters address was not listed.

Among the laws allegedly violated was the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003.

Dubbed ``Can Spam,'' the law requires unsolicited commercial e-mail that contains sexually oriented material to include the words ``SEXUALLY EXPLICIT'' in the subject line.

Spammers who violate the rule face possible imprisonment and criminal fines of up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for an organization.

Tracking down violators can be difficult because spammers often try to escape being directly identified by using forged return addresses or by bouncing their e-mails through unprotected relay computers on the Internet.