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Tim Bolen, spokesidiot for medical quacks, sends out an occasional email newsletter to "millions of health freedom fighters". These messages are a form of condensed mouth-foam and are usually quite entertaining. There was a rumour once that one of them contained something which was actually true, but it only turned out to be the publication date. Supporters of Bolen were able to prove that such a date existed, but this wasn't considered to be a real truth as there is only a limited set of possibilities.
Some of the recipients of Tim's missives were annoyed because they had never asked to be drenched in spittle by a raving loon. These people complained and the anti-spam activists went into action. Tim was not pleased. The following correspondence was leaked to me. Julian and Don are from Spamcop.
Date: Wed, 8 Oct 2003 22:01:07 -0400
Thread-Topic: Violation of AIT's AUP in regards to Spam/UCE
I have recently received numerous SPAM/UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email) complaints lodged against and referencing your domain bolenreport.com. AIT's policy is to give an initial warning when receiving SPAM/UCE complaints against a domain that we host on our servers, provided the offender did not attempt to disguise the origin of their UCE distribution. Please take whatever steps necessary at your end to immediately end UCE distribution activities that references your IP number/domain name hosted here at AIT. Further violations after this date will be considered a second offense and can result in account termination. Please refer to AIT's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) located at http://aitcom.net/legal/aup/ for details on our policies regarding UCE distribution. These UCE complaints have also led to AIT IP blocks being added to various Anti-SPAM blocking lists. This affects any customers that fall under those IP blocks who connect to the Internet through ISP's that subscribe to and utilize these various blocking lists. This is a serious matter and AIT has no choice but to address these issues thoroughly and in a timely manner to protect our entire customer base. I am including below a copy of just one of the numerous complaints that we have received against bolenreport.com.
Your cooperation and response to this matter would be appreciated.
Robert (Bobby) J. Albert
Advanced Internet Technologies
Spamcop.net, Julian Haight, et al:
October 9th, 2003
I own the internet newsletter "Millions of Health Freedom Fighters - Newsletter." You have engaged in activities blocking the dissemination of that newsletter to my subscribers. You are to cease that activity immediately. Should you fail to comply, you, and any who rely on your DUBIOUS service, can and will be SUED for all that you may own. My internet newsletter, broadcast from California, complies with ALL existing SPAM laws, and by definition laid down by California legislation. You are violating, and with those who use your service, conspiring, to violate my Civil Rights. You are to cease that activity immediately. I am well aware, Mr. Haight, that you are in hiding, avoiding your legal responsibilities in regards to your so-called anti-SPAM activities. I suspect that you are now, knowingly, or unknowingly, and will continue in the future to be in the employ of, those anti-American agents who deplore United States citizen's right to free speech. I am told, that you are, in fact, in hiding in a country who historically has sworn to destroy America, and it's very essence. Considering your attitude, and your activities, that makes sense. However, those that you do business with are a different story. Anyone who uses your service, or your blacklist, to block me can be sued for exactly the same thing. They, I can find easily. You, and they, will be sued in California, where there is a SPAM law in existence. That SPAM law CLEARLY allows me to broadcast my newsletter to my subscribers without interference. There are, in fact, Federal laws you, and those that use your service, are violating when you block my broadcasts. A violation of Federal law is any easy win in any courtroom.
If you want to fight what you consider to be a "Wrong," do it without interfering with my right to fight what I consider a "Wrong." In your issue (SPAM) people are, at most, incovenienced. In mine (health care in North America), Americans are suffering and dying. Grow up.
If I have to go to court, I'll seek an injunction shutting down your operation. Since you are in hiding, consider how difficult it will be to oppose my Motion. And when the Judge issues the order, I will simply send the Court Order to everyone you do business with. I will also get a copy to every REAL spammer I can find to use against you. I consider the issues I deal with to be much more important than yours.
Tim Bolen - Consumer Advocate
From: SpamCop Admin
Sent: Thursday, October 09, 2003 2:20 PM
Subject: Re: legal warning...
Twelve different people are complaining about the traffic coming from 126.96.36.199
If there were only one or two complaining, I might write them off to mistake on the part of your subscribers. However, when the number of complainants rises above that, it usually indicates a problem with address collection practices. Since you're a fee speech advocate, I know that you are aware of the fact that while you are free to speak, publish, and send email, you do not have the right to force people to listen to what you say, or read what you write, or accept your email against their will. In the case of service providers, it's their equipment, their choice, and their right to make their choices on any basis they wish. And, since this is America, and especially in California, people have the absolute right to complain about anything they want, to anybody they want, and by whatever means they want.
- Don -
You do not have twelve complaints. You sell a service to people that simply sees html broadcasts, and rejects them. Your own program logs the complaint. I'm getting notice of rejections from people I've known for years, see at conferences, and speak to regularly, on the telephone. They ask me" Why aren't you sending me your newsletter any more?" You are interfering with my rights. Stop immediately. The law is on my side. Give me your address, and we'll talk about it in court, here in California. I'm within the law - you're not. I have no problem pursuing you. You can tell your version of reality to the Judge, and the jury.
I do my legal homework - you don't. In regard to your statement "Since you're a fee speech advocate, I know that you are aware of the fact that while you are free to speak, publish, and send email, you do not have the right to force people to listen to what you say, or read what you write, or accept your email against their will," I suggest you brush up on California law in this regard - I DO HAVE THAT RIGHT should I choose to exercise it. SPAM is legally defined in California. You are accusing me of breaking the law. I am not. If you don't leave my newsletter alone I'll warn, notify, and then sue, you, and every one of your customers in the US, here in California, all in one lawsuit in Superior Court. It will cost each one of them a minimum of $25,000 to answer my suit. I'll just simply write the lawsuit, with your name on it, add 5,000 John Does, and name theor real names as my webmaster finds the rejections. Anyone who hasn't responded after the mandatory thirty days will get a "default" filed against them, and I'll begin the process of seizing property.
The next time you blacklist me, I begin the process - period.
I bet every mailhouse in the world will publish my lawsuit.
If you think I'm bluffing, run my name through any internet search engine. My enemies consider me to be absolutely merciless - and they don't know the half of it.
On Thu, 9 Oct 2003, SpamCop Admin wrote:
It truly disturbs me to learn that you think you have the right to force people to accept your email against their will.
SpamCop is a totally complaint driven system. When our users get unwanted email, they use our service to complain about it to the host of the person sending the mail. I hope you don't think Mr. Albert was lying to you when he said he had received numerous complaints. Over the last month, twelve of our users filed a total of 36 separate complaints about your traffic. I don't know how many more there might be from people who don't use our service.
The list we maintain contains nothing but the IP addresses of mail servers which are sending unwanted email to our users.
- Don -
Date: Fri, 10 Oct 2003 10:06:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: RE: legal warning...
Funny that he would tell us to search the internet for his name. I did as he suggested, and the first hit on google was this:
Pretty interesting reading (and a lot of it). I'm ccing the maintainer of that site in case they are interested in this little addition to the story. Most of the other links are no more flattering.
So, Mr. Bolen: You will not win by suing us. Whather or not your activities are in fact illegal, we object to them, and we will block your them. Either way, you will not deter us from labeling your mail as spam. If you have any actual evidence that it is not, I am happy to consider it. I won't hold my breath though - I assume that your tactics will remain true to the ones detailed on quackwatch - attacking those who oppose you instead of addressing the facts of the case.