Mich. Charges 2 Companies Under Do-Not-Email Law

Michael Hayes
LANSING, Mich. — Two companies accused of sending spam have drawn unwanted attention from Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who filed suit against them under the Michigan Children’s Protection Registry Act.

Cox charged RR Media of Cathedral City, Calif., and Data Stream Group of Bonita Springs, Fla., under the law, alleging that both companies sought to entice children into gambling sites by sending emails that also promoted alcoholic beverages.

Cox, who filed both civil and criminal charges against the companies, said that both operations failed comply with the state law that requires them to check email addresses against a state registry.

Under the Michigan law, parents in the state may list their children’s email addresses in the registry.

"Spamming is a huge problem with no easy solution," Cox said. "The registry law is an attempt by our state to find an effective way to protect children from the most offensive variety of spam."

The law provides for maximum fines of $5,000 per offense, a criminal fine of $30,000 and a maximum prison sentence of three years.

The charges brought by Cox are the first to be filed under the Michigan law.

The Michigan law is similar, but not identical to, the Utah Child Protection Registry Act, which is facing a legal challenge from the Free Speech Coalition.