Microsoft has worked with Florida’s attorney general to file suits against two Tampa men for allegedly sending 65,000 illegal spam messages to internet accounts.
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The case is the first to be brought under Florida’s new anti-spam law, and is also being brought under the federal CAN-SPAM law.
The illegal spam allegedly sent by the Tampa men linked recipients to more than 75 websites engaged in fraudulent or illegal business activities, including pharmaceutical and cigarette sales and the illegal downloading of copyrighted movies.
The action comes after a six-month investigation by the attorney general's office and Microsoft.
Microsoft has already worked with attorney generals across the US to help combat spam, helping to bring legal actions against alleged cyber criminals in Washington state, New York and Texas.
Microsoft says it has set up more than 100,000 MSN Hotmail "trap" accounts - open email accounts that the company monitors but does not send e-mail from - to capture spam, many of which contain links to phishing scams.
Microsoft's anti-spam team began discussing the case with the Florida attorney general's office in November 2004.