Microsoft Lauds Florida Anti-Spam Lawsuit

Collaboration Shows That Anti-Spam Laws to Protect Consumers Are Working

Apr 04, 2005, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    TAMPA, Fla., April 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Microsoft Corp.
 (Nasdaq:   MSFT) today praised Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist for filing
 a lawsuit against two men accused of sending illegal spam.
     (Logo: )
     "Thanks to Attorney General Charlie Crist's leadership, Florida has a
 tough anti-spam law to protect consumers, and it is working," said Microsoft
 Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Nancy Anderson. Anderson joined
 Attorney General Crist in Tampa for his announcement of the first anti-spam
 lawsuit under his state's anti-spam law as well as the federal CAN-SPAM law.
     The Florida attorney general's office filed suit against Tampa residents
 Scott J. Filary, 25, and Donald E. Townsend, 34, accusing them of running a
 bogus e-mail and Internet operation responsible for sending more than
 65,000 illegal spam messages during the past year. The alleged illegal spam
 linked recipients to more than 75 Web sites engaged in fraudulent or illegal
 business activities, including pharmaceutical and cigarette sales and the
 illegal downloading of copyrighted movies.
     The action culminates a six-month investigation by the attorney general's
 office and Microsoft into the defendants' activity. Microsoft has worked with
 attorneys general across the country to combat spam, helping bring legal
 action against cybercriminals in Washington state, New York and Texas.
     Microsoft's MSN(R) Hotmail(R) is the world's largest Web-based e-mail
 service, with more than 200 million active accounts. According to Anderson,
 the company has set up more than 100,000 MSN Hotmail "trap" accounts -- open
 e-mail accounts that the company monitors but does not send e-mail from -- to
 capture spam, many of which contain links to phishing scams.
     Microsoft's anti-spam team began discussing the case with the Florida
 attorney general's office in November 2004.
     "We're convinced that strong actions like those being taken today by the
 Florida attorney general will help make illegal spam a thing of the past,"
 Anderson said. "We're happy to help and delighted this strong action is being
 taken to protect consumers."
     Anderson said Microsoft is determined to do everything it can -- working
 with law enforcement agencies, crafting innovative software solutions and
 working with industry groups -- to combat spam.
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services
 and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
     NOTE:  Microsoft, MSN and Hotmail are either registered trademarks or
 trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.