Spam emails about gambling and pornography can be received by
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have reminded
companies of the importance of obeying anti-spam laws following the
announcement of legal action being taken against two companies
accused of sending unsolicited email about gambling and alcoholic
drinks to children.
According to Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, RR Media Inc.
of Cathedral City, California, and Data Stream Group Inc. of Bonita
Springs, Florida, sent emails with the intention of enticing
children to visit gambling websites and promoted alcoholic
The messages are said to have been sent to children's e-mail
addresses registered under Michigan's
Child Protection Registry Act. The act requires companies to
check the registry to remove children's email addresses before
sending messages advertising goods or services that children cannot
legally buy (such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling and
"Parents don't want their children to be bombarded with adverts
for gambling and porn websites, or have alcohol and tobacco pushed
upon them via spam. Companies who refuse to abide by the rules
regulating email communications can expect short shrift from the
authorities," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant for Sophos. "But spam is a problem for
children around the globe, not just in Michigan, and more needs to
be done to stamp it out."
If found guilty, the companies could be fined up to $10,000 and
receive other penalties for violating the Child Protection Registry
Act. Michigan and Utah are the only American states that have
adopted a registry law.
Sophos recommends companies automatically update their corporate
virus protection, and run a consolidated
solution at the email gateway to defend against viruses,
spyware and spam.