Va. court overturns conviction of NC junk e-mailer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Virginia Supreme Court has declared Virginia's anti-spam law unconstitutional and overturned the conviction of a North Carolina man once considered one of the world's most prolific junk e-mailers.

In an unanimous ruling Friday, the court agreed with Jeremy Jaynes' claim that the anti-spam law violates free speech protections under the First Amendment.

In 2004, Jaynes became the first person in the country to be convicted of a felony for sending unsolicited bulk e-mail, also known as spam. Authorities claimed Jaynes sent up to 10 million e-mails a day from his home in Raleigh, N.C. He was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Jaynes was charged in Virginia because the e-mails went through an AOL server in Loudoun County, where America Online is based.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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