SB 881 Computer Crimes Act; electronic mail.
William C. Mims | all patrons    ...    notes
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Summary as passed:
Unsolicited bulk electronic mail (e-mail); personal jurisdiction; Virginia Computer Crimes Act. Amends Virginia's long-arm statute to establish that “use” of a computer or “computer network” located in the Commonwealth shall constitute an act in the Commonwealth. 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 e-mail service providers shall not be liable for actions they take to prevent unsolicited bulk e-mail; (iv) provides civil relief to an injured person, other than an e-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 e-mail service provider which merely transmits the e-mail message; (v) provides civil relief to an injured e-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 help ensure the establishment of personal jurisdiction in Virginia's courts. The purpose of the bill is to curb a practice known as "spamming," the sending of unsolicited e-mail to unsuspecting recipients. SB 881 is identical to HBs 1668 and 1714.


Summary as passed Senate:
Virginia Computer Crimes Act; electronic mail. Redefines "computer services" for the purposes of the Virginia Computer Crimes Act to include electronic mail or electronic message services of an electronic mail service provider. The bill also adds the following to the list of those acts constituting use without authority or computer trespass: (i) using the services of anelectronic mail service provider in contravention of the authority granted by or in violation of the policies set by the electronic mail service provider; (ii) falsifying e-mail transmission information in connection with the transmission of unsolicited bulk e-mail; and (iii) selling or distributing software which makes possible the transmission of false e-mail with the intent to facilitate the transmission of false e-mail. The bill provides for statutory civil damages of at least $500 for each and every illegal and unsolicited bulk electronic mail message transmitted or actual damages, whichever is greater or $1000 for each and every violation of the prohibition on selling or distributing software which makes possible the transmission of false e-mail.


Summary as introduced:
Virginia Computer Crimes Act; electronic mail. Redefines "computer services" for the purposes of the Virginia Computer Crimes Act to include Internet service providers’ networks and facilities located in the Commonwealth. The bill also adds the following to the list of those acts constituting use without authority or computer trespass: (i) using an Internet service e-mail system offered by a Virginia-based Internet service provider in contravention of the authority granted by or in violation of the policies set by the Internet service provider; (ii) falsifying e-mail header information in connection with, or becoming a subscriber of an Internet service provider in order to obtain e-mail addresses for the purpose of, the transmission of unsolicited bulk e-mail; and (iii) selling or distributing software which makes possible the transmission of false e-mail with the intent to facilitate the transmission of false e-mail. The bill provides for statutory civil damages of at least $500 per violation or actual damages, whichever is greater.