The Virginia Supreme Court declared the state’s anti-spam law unconstitutional Friday and reversed the conviction of a man once considered one of the world’s most prolific spammers.
The court unanimously agreed with Jeremy Jaynes’ argument that the law violates the free-speech protections of the First Amendment because it does not just restrict commercial e-mails – it restricts other unsolicited messages as well.
Most other states also have anti-spam laws, and there is a federal CAN-SPAM Act as well, but those laws apply only to commercial e-mail pitches.
In 2004, Jaynes became the first person in the country to be convicted of a felony for sending unsolicited bulk e-mail. Authorities claimed Jaynes sent up to 10 million e-mails a day from his home in Raleigh, N.C.
Biden’s son stops working as lobbyist
Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son Hunter has stopped working as a federal lobbyist, work that had made him a Republican target in the presidential contest.
“I no longer expect to act as a federal lobbyist,” Hunter Biden said in a letter to the Clerk of the House and the Senate Office of Public Records. The letter is dated Aug. 25 and was made public Friday.
Presidential candidate Barack Obama, who chose Biden as his running mate last month, has been a vocal critic of rival John McCain’s ties to lobbyists.
Hunter Biden and his lobbying firm, Oldaker, Biden & Belair, have represented colleges and hospitals, mainly in an effort to secure money for them in appropriation bills. In June, however, Biden also signed on as a lobbyist for a law firm that represents a billionaire couple who run an Internet gambling business.
Boy killed by car’s power window
A 3-year-old Los Angeles boy died after he wedged himself in a power window and car door frame when his father briefly left him alone, authorities said Friday.
The boy, Arturo Campos, apparently was left unattended in a vehicle while his father made a telephone call late Thursday.
The father parked the car about 8 p.m., turning off the engine but leaving the key in the ignition with the radio and power on, said Officer April Harding of the Los Angeles Police Department. Then he got out of the car to make a call on a nearby pay phone, keeping the boy in view, she said.
The father, whose name was not released, saw his son playing in the back seat and briefly turned his back, Harding said. As the father’s back was turned, the boy apparently moved to the passenger seat and hit the button that activated the power window, suffering a severe neck compression injury.