An Internet site that provides personal information about an alleged purveyor of mass e-mail is not harassment and does not need to be removed, a Maryland district court judge ruled yesterday.
Francis Uy, a tech specialist at Johns Hopkins University, posted the site to expose the activities of George A. Moore Jr., owner of Maryland Internet Marketing Inc. in Linthicum. Moore, whose company sells nutritional weight-loss products, such as Fat-N-Emy and Extreme Colon Cleanser, has been identified by spam-tracking organizations as a leading spammer.
Uy's site encourages people to sue spammers under Maryland's anti-spam law, and it includes Moore's address and telephone number, which Moore claimed led to harassment by anti-spam vigilantes. Threatening phone calls were left on his answering machine, and he received dozens of products in the mail that he never ordered, including about 200 unwanted magazines and catalogues, he charged.
Moore, who denies he is a spammer because he contracts with third parties to market his products, asked the court to force Uy to pull down the site.
Anne Arundel District Court Judge Robert C. Wilcox declined, saying there was no evidence that Uy had harassed Moore directly, which Moore also had alleged.
Moore said in an interview after the hearing that he simply wants the harassment to stop. He said that as a result of an article about the case in yesterday's Washington Post, he received eight more harassing phone calls, one of which was a death threat. He said he is considering further legal action.
In a written report to an online discussion group about his day in court, an ebullient Uy said he would continue his efforts to combat spam.
"George tried to send me a message, and wanted to make an example of me," he wrote. "Instead I had a message for him: Every time you try to mess with me, I will post it on the 'Net, and more people will learn about you. I don't encourage harassment against you, and I don't need to. The facts speak quite loudly enough. Your best option is to crawl back under a rock and suck it up, or move to some state other than the one I live in."