WHOIS Privacy Considered ‘Material Falsification’

A recent decision by the Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has determined that using WHOIS privacy on domains may be considered material falsification under federal law. The defendants in US vs Kilbride (9th Cir, 2009) were convicted under the CAN-SPAM Act in a case that involved criminal charges of intentional email spamming. Enacted by the US Congress in 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act prohibits false or misleading transmission information, deceptive headers, and requires email solicitations to give an easy opt-out method and be labeled as an advertisement, including the senders physical post address. Commercial emails that use false or misleading headers, or violate other CAN-SPAM provisions, such as falsified registration information, are subject to fines of up to $11,000 for each unsolicited email sent

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