Application security

Spamhaus, confident of court victory, says it’s on the web to stay despite lawsuit

Spamhaus sought to reassure internet users today that it will remain in business - at its current web address - saying, "There is no cause for alarm currently" despite a lawsuit demanding it be stripped of its web domain.

The non-profit organization said in a statement posted on its website this week that it cannot formally comment on a request filed by alleged spammer e360 in U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois that would require Spamhaus organizers to remove the site from the web.

Steve Linford, Spamhaus chief executive, told today that his organization is confident it will prevail in court.

"We've got a huge amount of spam evidence on this, and since the lawsuit broke on the internet, people have been contacting us saying, ‘We've been getting spam from this guy,'" he said. "We're accepting all offers saying that people will testify, together with some networks and some large ISPs (internet service providers)."

"The tables are getting turned very rapidly. We're quite positive of the outcome. If we could go to court now, we'd have a guaranteed win," he added.

Spamhaus' legal problems began when e360 objected to being described by the organization as a spammer and filed an action in an Illinois state court. Arguing that it was a U.K. organization with no business in Illinois, Spamhaus did not appear in court. After the court ruled by default in favor of e360, a proposed court order called for the removal of the domain from the internet.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced in a statement that it does not have the power to strip Spamhaus of its web domain.

"ICANN cannot comply with any order requiring it to suspend or any specific domain name because ICANN does not have either the ability or the authority to do so," according to an organization statement.

Many of the spam messages it is blocking are illegal, or at least unwanted, by most web users, Spamhaus contended.

"Technical issues aside, the vast majority of those 50 billion spams are highly illegal, spam for drugs, extreme pornography, scams and bank phishes. The effect of 650 million email boxes (Spamhaus' userbase) suddenly receiving such a barrage of illegal spam, scams and bank phishes, is, in my opinion, extremely dangerous. For this reason alone, we believe ICANN suspending is almost certainly a non-starter," read an organization news release.

Click here to email Frank Washkuch Jr.

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