HB 1668 Misleading and unsolicited commercial electronic mail.
Kenneth R. Plum | all patrons    ...    notes
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history

Summary as passed:
Virginia Computer Crimes Act; electronic mail. Amends Virginia’s long-arm statute to provide that using a computer or computer network located in Virginia constitutes an act in Virginia. The bill also (i) expands the definitions of “computer services” and “without authority” and provides a new definition for “electronic mail service provider” in the Virginia Computer Crimes Act; (ii) makes it the crime of computer trespass to (a) falsify or forge e-mail message transmission information in connection with unsolicited bulk e-mail and (b) knowingly sell, give, distribute, or possess software whose principal purpose is to facilitate unsolicited bulk e-mail; (iii) provides that electronic mail service providers shall not be liable for actions they take to prevent unsolicited bulk email; (iv) provides civil relief to an injured person, other than an electronic mail service provider, for actual damages or the lesser of $10 for each unsolicited bulk e-mail message or $25,000 per day and states that the injured person shall not have a cause of action against an electronic mail service provider which merely transmits the e-mail message; (v) provides civil relief to an injured electronic mail service provider for actual damages or the greater of $10 for each unsolicited bulk e-mail message or $25,000 per day; and (vi) cross-references the Virginia long-arm statute in the Virginia Computer Crimes Act to ensure the establishment of personal jurisdiction in Virginia’s courts. The purpose of the bill is curb a practice known as “spamming,” the sending of unsolicited electronic mail to unsuspecting recipients. The bill is a recommendation of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science. This bill is identical to HB 1714 and SB 881.


Summary as passed House:
Virginia Computer Crimes Act; electronic mail. Amends Virginia’s long-arm statute to establish personal jurisdiction over any “person” who transmits or causes the transmission of unsolicited bulk electronic mail to or through an “electronic mail service provider’s” “computer network” located in Virginia, as those terms are defined in the bill. The bill also (i) expands the definitions of “computer services” and “without authority” and provides a new definition for “electronic mail service provider” in the Virginia Computer Crimes Act; (ii) makes it the crime of computer trespass to (a) falsify or forge e-mail message transmission information in connection with unsolicited bulk e-mail and (b) sell, give, distribute, or possess software whose principal purpose is to facilitate unsolicited bulk e-mail; (iii) provides that electronic mail service providers shall not be liable for actions they take to prevent unsolicited bulk email; (iv) provides civil relief to an injured person, other than an electronic mail service provider, for actual damages or the lesser of $10 for each unsolicited bulk e-mail message or $25,000 per day and states that the injured person shall not have a cause of action against an electronic mail service provider which merely transmits the e-mail message; (v) provides civil relief to an injured electronic mail service provider for actual damages or the greater of $10 for each unsolicited bulk e-mail message or $25,000 per day; and (vi) cross-references the Virginia long-arm statute in the Virginia Computer Crimes Act to ensure the establishment of personal jurisdiction in Virginia’s courts. The purpose of the bill is curb a practice known as “spamming,” the sending of unsolicited electronic mail to unsuspecting recipients. The bill is a recommendation of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science.


Summary as introduced:
Misleading and unsolicited commercial electronic mail. Creates two new statutory causes of action: 1) for persons who receive false or misleading “commercial electronic mail” and 2) for persons who receive unsolicited “commercial electronic mail.” In the case of false or misleading electronic mail, recipients may sue to enjoin further violations and to recover the greater of (i) actual damages sustained, together with costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees, or (ii) $500 “per occurrence” not to exceed one million dollars. Internet service providers can sue for injunctive relief and to recover the greater of (i) actual damages sustained, together with costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees, or (ii) $1000 “per occurrence” not to exceed two million dollars. In the case of unsolicited electronic mail, recipients may sue to enjoin further violations and to recover the greater of (i) actual damages sustained, together with costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees, or (ii) $500 per occurrence not to exceed one million dollars; if the unsolicited electronic mail is received after the recipient has declined to receive further electronic mail, he may recover $1000 per occurrence not to exceed two million dollars. Persons who “transmit or cause the transmission” of unsolicited electronic mail are not liable to the recipient if the recipient consented to the receipt of the electronic mail or the electronic mail is readily identifiable as promotional and follows other procedures outlined in the bill. The purpose of the bill is curb a practice known as “spamming,” the sending of false, misleading, or unsolicited electronic mail to unsuspecting recipients. The bill is a recommendation of the Joint Commission on Technology and Science.