Major ISPs sue mortgage spammersMortgagePress.comCAN-SPAM Act Four major U.S. Internet service providers are suing more than 220 alleged spammers, including mortgage spammers, responsible for sending out millions of pieces of unsolicited commercial e-mail. Among the six lawsuits, filed in early March by America Online Inc., EarthLink Inc., Microsoft Corporation and Yahoo! Inc., are three complaints against mortgage spammers. The defendants are accused of using illegal tactics, such as deceptive subject lines and the sale of e-mail addresses. The lawsuits are among the first filed under the U.S. law Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM), which went into effect in January of 2004. AOL filed a complaint against "John Doe 1 through 40," citing the transmission of messages to AOL members that allegedly sell a variety of products, including mortgages. The EarthLink complaint groups together John Does 26 through 35 as the "mortgage lead spammers." EarthLink accuses the defendants of hiding their identities with falsified headers and fake "from" lines, among other tactics. Yahoo! filed its complaint against a group it calls the "head operation," after defendants Erick Head, Matthew Head and Barry Head, alleged that the group sent 94 million e-mail messages to Yahoo! mail users. The spam included mortgage solicitations. The companies said that they are confident they can use the expanded law enforcement tools available under CAN-SPAM to identify the unnamed defendants and shut them down. The plaintiffs also think they will be able to use the CAN-SPAM law to bring the defendants operating outside the United States into U.S. court, thereby destroying the myth that offshore spammers are untouchable. CAN-SPAM co-sponsors Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) praised the four Internet service providers for filing the lawsuits. Wyden believes the days of unrestrained spamming are over, and the integrity of the Internet will finally be restored after the impact of these lawsuits takes effect.