Porn Spammers Target Kids, Monitor Says
SALT LAKE CITY (CN) - A safe email service for children claims a British company spammed thousands of kids with links to porn sites, crashing its servers, spiking bandwidth and stifling profits.
ZooBuh sued Alcuda Ltd., in Federal Court.
ZooBuh, a "bona fide Internet access service" launched in 2002, charges parents $1 a month for its safe-email services, which allow parents to control and monitor their children's accounts. It claims the defendant launched its spam attack in 2012.
Alcuda and Doe defendants - message initiators and senders - sent 20,000 emails to ZooBuh's young subscribers promoting multiple pornographic and adult-themed dating websites, according to the lawsuit.
ZooBuh, which serves 44,000 customers via an 18-server network, claims the spam violated the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) of 2003.
"Beginning in or around October 2012 and to the date of this complaint, ZooBuh has received a total of approximately 20,000 electronic-mail messages sent and/or initiated by the defendants collectively, which independently and collectively caused significant adverse effect to ZooBuh and which independently and collectively, contributed to an overall spam problem which the court recognized in [Zoobuh v.] Better Broadcasting satisfied the second part of the standing test under CAN-SPAM for ZooBuh," the complaint states.
"The emails from defendants appear to be continuing on a daily basis."
Alcuda, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, is responsible for at least 17,000 of the unsolicited messages, ZooBuh claims.
"Specifically, the emails advertise and provide links to the following websites owned by Alcuda: bediscreet.com; freesexmatch.com; getanaffair.com; hornyasia.com; hornyplumps.com; iwantu.com; iwantubbw.com; iwantumilf.com; maritalhookup.com; maturexmatch.com; meetdivorced.com; milfberry.com; mybbwmatch.com; passionmature.com; saucysingles.com; saucysingleslink.com; shagaholic.com; sinfulmates.com; sugarbbw.com; upforit.com," ZooBuh says.
"Additionally, many of the subject headings used explicit and profane language inappropriate for the targeted recipients."
Nearly 5,000 of the emails included sexually oriented material, ZooBuh says, including "exposed breasts, genitals and/or pubic area of persons, and/or actual or simulated sexual acts."
ZooBuh says the spam caused server and bandwidth spikes and server crashes, and decreased the life span of the company's hardware.
"For each individual email, ZooBuh had to expend man hours and work to identify the source of the email, to determine how and why the specific emails were able to circumvent and/or bypass preliminary filtering techniques, and ultimately to make the emails stop. ZooBuh has hired an additional employee on a contract basis to assist with these efforts," the lawsuit states.
"The harm ZooBuh suffers is manifested in significant financial expense and burden, significant loss of employee time, significant loss in profitability and ability to grow the company, significant decreases is the life span of ZooBuh's hardware, which ultimately will mean more spikes, more crashes, and pre-mature hardware replacements and more money."
ZooBuh seeks an injunction, $4.5 million in damages for violations of five sections of the CAN-SPAM Act, and costs.
It is represented by William Kelly Nash with Durham, Jones and Pinegar, of Provo.