“Thus, the statute does not prevent anonymous speech, as appellant argues, but prohibits trespassing on private computer networks through intentional misrepresentation, an activity that merits no First Amendment protection,” [Judge James W] Haley wrote.Hot diggity! Not that the appellant, Jeremy Jaynes (aka "Gavin Stubberfield"), isn't trying. His attorney argued that one needed to stay anonymous to "prevent retaliation" if sending mass e-mails:
“You purchase an e-mail address list, alter the transmission information in the header of your e-mail to avoid retaliation, and on Easter morning send out a three-word email to thousands of people: 'Christ is risen!' You have committed a felony in Virginia,” he said.Clever trick, that, trying to equate penny stock adverts with evangelization - but you'll notice that, anonymous or not, nobody in fact spams people with "Christ is Risen!" messages. They know perfectly well that the rudeness of the method tends to undercut the wholesome message - even believers would be angry about it.
The amazing thing to me is that, for all its unpopularity, the spam thing was working for this guy. Prosecutors claimed that he was pulling in nine million bucks a year.