Skip Navigation
Attorney General Bill SchuetteMichigan.gov
Michigan.gov Home
close print view

Cox Files Criminal and Civil Cases Against Corporate Spammers E-Mailing Children

Contact: Rusty HIlls or Nate Bailey, Media Contacts 517-373-8060
Agency: Attorney General

August 10, 2006

            LANSING - Attorney General Mike Cox announced today that he is filing criminal and civil charges against senders of unsolicited e-mail messages ("spam") that seek to lure children to gamble and buy alcoholic beverages.  The messages were sent to children's e-mail addresses registered with the State of Michigan under Michigan's Child Protection Registry Act.  The act requires senders to check the registry to remove children's e-mail addresses before sending messages advertising goods or services that children cannot legally buy.  Today's criminal charges against RR Media, Inc. of Cathedral City, CA, and Data Stream Group, Inc. of Bonita Springs, FL, are the first of their kind in the country and may subject the spammers to a fine of up to $10,000 and other penalties.

            "The Internet - especially email and instant messaging - is a favorite vehicle for spammers and sexual predators to solicit children to buy harmful products, view pornographic images, and, worst of all, become targets of predatory activity," Cox said.  "I will continue to utilize all the tools available under the law to protect Michigan children from these menaces."

            The "Protect MI Child Registry" allows parents and others to submit e-mail addresses, instant message addresses, and other electronic contact points to which children in Michigan have access to the Michigan Public Service Commission, which administers the registry. The law prohibits sending e-mail to a registered address with content in the e-mail that advertises anything a minor is prohibited from doing, viewing, or using.  Examples include alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and pornography.  The law requires senders of this type of e-mail to electronically scrub their mailing lists against the registry, eliminating the registered e-mail addresses from mailing lists. Michigan and Utah are the only states that have adopted a registry law.

            "Spamming is a huge problem with no easy solution.  The registry law is an attempt by our State to find an effective way to protect children from the most offensive variety of spam.  I hope our criminal and civil actions send a message to spammers peddling harmful products - stay away from our kids," Cox said.

            The cases follow an investigation by the Attorney General's Office, which received complaints of inappropriate e-mail solicitations for gambling and alcohol purchases being sent to e-mail addresses registered as children's contact points.  The Attorney General's cyber-investigation led to the defendants, RR Media, Inc. and Data Stream Group, Inc.  Each corporation stands charged with one count of violating the Registry Act.  Criminal complaints were signed on August 10, 2006, in the 36th and 52-2nd District Courts in Detroit and Clarkston, respectively.  The next court date has not yet been set.

            In addition to the criminal cases, Cox has filed civil actions against RR Media, Inc. and Data Stream Group, Inc. in Ingham County Circuit Court.  These companion cases to the criminal actions seek injunctions against further violations and other statutory penalties.

            Parents and guardians of minor children can visit the State of Michigan's "Protect MI Child" website, operated by the Michigan Public Service Commission, at: https://www.protectmichild.com  

At this site, parents can:

·      register their children's contact points (including e-mail addresses, instant message   addresses, and fax numbers);

·      file complaints concerning violations of the Michigan Child Protection Registry Act;

·      obtain additional information. 

Consumer alerts on e-mail scams, identity theft, and a wide range of other topics of interest to parents and consumers can be viewed or downloaded at the Attorney General's Web site, www.michigan.gov/ag  (click on "Consumer Alerts").  An online complaint form is also available.

 Mail or telephone inquiries and complaints may be directed to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at:

Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909

Phone: 517-373-1140

Toll-free within Michigan: 1-877-765-8388
Fax: 517-241-3771
www.michigan.gov/ag (click on "File A Complaint")
 

-- 30 --

Related Content
 •  Schuette Announces Closure of Two Abortion Clinics Operating Illegally without Proper Physician Ownership
 •  Schuette Charges Former Pontiac Fire Chief With Bribery, Racketeering
 •  Schuette Welcomes U.S. Supreme Court Review of Michigan's Challenge to Obamacare
 •  Schuette Files Suit to Dissolve Improperly Incorporated Abortion Clinics in Eaton, Saginaw Counties
 •  Schuette Announces Felony Charges for Massive ID Theft Scheme that Defrauded State of More Than $250,000
 •  Schuette Takes Great Lakes States' Fight Against Asian Carp to the U.S. Supreme Court
 •  Schuette Joins Chesterfield Township in Lawsuit to Close Marijuana Dispensary
 •  Schuette Announces Sentencing of Former River Rouge Official Convicted of Accepting $5,000 Bribe
 •  Schuette Leads 25-State Challenge to Burdensome EPA Regulations that Threaten Jobs, Endanger Affordable Electricity Rates
 •  Schuette Announces Conviction of Former S.E. Michigan Medical Center Director for $3.3 Million Medicaid Fraud
 •  Schuette: Ruling Against Massive Medical Marijuana Grow Operations Welcomed by Law Enforcement, Public
 •  Public Integrity Unit Charges Former Highland Park Principal with Embezzlement from School Union
 •  Bouchard, Schuette Announce Arrest of 26 in Southeast Michigan Felony Child Support Sweep
 •  New A.G. Coalition Tells Congress: Put Army Corps to Work and Close Chicago Waterways
 •  Schuette Statement on Passage of Legislation Creating a State Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion
 •  Schuette Announces Twenty Year Max Sentence, $48 Million Recovery from Cemetery Embezzler Clayton Smart
 •  Schuette Announces Sentencing of Former Highland Park Charter School Treasurer Convicted of Embezzlement
 •  Schuette Pledges Aggressive Fight for Great Lakes at Asian Carp Summit Hosted by State Tourism, Conservation Leaders
 •  Schuette, Johnson Announce Charge Against Dispensary Owner For Offering Free Marijuana for Votes
 •  Schuette Wins Proposal 2 Rehearing Request
QR code

Michigan.gov Home
PoliciesMichigan NewsMichigan.gov Survey


Copyright © 2014 State of Michigan