Maybe you’ve been inundated by emails from spammers like Pills-pay.com or Pay4pills.com in the past? No longer. Worldwide spam is down 75% since Tuesday, when a Washington Post investigation led Internet service-providers Global Crossing and Hurricane Electric to shut down San Jose, California Web host McColo. The Post says McColo also hosted child pornography, but that its unclear if the hosting firm will be held responsible for the crimes of its clients:
Mark Rasch, a former cyber crime prosecutor for the Justice Department and managing director of FTI Consulting in Washington, D.C.,. said Web hosting providers are generally not liable for illegal activity carried out on their networks, except in cases involving copyright violations and child pornography.
In the case of child pornography, providers may be held criminally liable if they know about but do nothing to eliminate such content from their servers. For example, in 2001, BuffNET, a large regional service provider in Buffalo, N .Y., pleaded guilty to knowingly providing access to child pornography because the company failed to remove offending Web pages after being alerted to the material.
“It’s a little bit like a landlord who owns a building and sees people coming in and out of the apartment complex constantly at all hours and not suspecting their may be drug activity going on ,” Rasch said. ” There are certain things that raise red flags, such as the nature, volume, source and destination of the Internet traffic, that can and should raise red flags. And to have so many third parties looking at the volume and content from this Internet provider saying ‘This is outrageous,’ clearly the people doing the hosting should know that as well.”
Court Lets Spammer Off The Hook
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