18 U.S. Code § 1037 - Fraud and related activity in connection with electronic mail

(a) In General.— Whoever, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly—
(1) accesses a protected computer without authorization, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from or through such computer,
(2) uses a protected computer to relay or retransmit multiple commercial electronic mail messages, with the intent to deceive or mislead recipients, or any Internet access service, as to the origin of such messages,
(3) materially falsifies header information in multiple commercial electronic mail messages and intentionally initiates the transmission of such messages,
(4) registers, using information that materially falsifies the identity of the actual registrant, for five or more electronic mail accounts or online user accounts or two or more domain names, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from any combination of such accounts or domain names, or
(5) falsely represents oneself to be the registrant or the legitimate successor in interest to the registrant of 5 or more Internet Protocol addresses, and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from such addresses,
or conspires to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b).
(b) Penalties.— The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) is—
(1) a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, if—
(A) the offense is committed in furtherance of any felony under the laws of the United States or of any State; or
(B) the defendant has previously been convicted under this section or section 1030, or under the law of any State for conduct involving the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages or unauthorized access to a computer system;
(2) a fine under this title, imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both, if—
(A) the offense is an offense under subsection (a)(1);
(B) the offense is an offense under subsection (a)(4) and involved 20 or more falsified electronic mail or online user account registrations, or 10 or more falsified domain name registrations;
(C) the volume of electronic mail messages transmitted in furtherance of the offense exceeded 2,500 during any 24-hour period, 25,000 during any 30-day period, or 250,000 during any 1-year period;
(D) the offense caused loss to one or more persons aggregating $5,000 or more in value during any 1-year period;
(E) as a result of the offense any individual committing the offense obtained anything of value aggregating $5,000 or more during any 1-year period; or
(F) the offense was undertaken by the defendant in concert with three or more other persons with respect to whom the defendant occupied a position of organizer or leader; and
(3) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both, in any other case.
(c) Forfeiture.—
(1) In general.— The court, in imposing sentence on a person who is convicted of an offense under this section, shall order that the defendant forfeit to the United States—
(A) any property, real or personal, constituting or traceable to gross proceeds obtained from such offense; and
(B) any equipment, software, or other technology used or intended to be used to commit or to facilitate the commission of such offense.
(2) Procedures.— The procedures set forth in section 413 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 853), other than subsection (d) of that section, and in Rule 32.2 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall apply to all stages of a criminal forfeiture proceeding under this section.
(d) Definitions.— In this section:
(1) Loss.— The term “loss” has the meaning given that term in section 1030 (e) of this title.
(2) Materially.— For purposes of paragraphs (3) and (4) of subsection (a), header information or registration information is materially falsified if it is altered or concealed in a manner that would impair the ability of a recipient of the message, an Internet access service processing the message on behalf of a recipient, a person alleging a violation of this section, or a law enforcement agency to identify, locate, or respond to a person who initiated the electronic mail message or to investigate the alleged violation.
(3) Multiple.— The term “multiple” means more than 100 electronic mail messages during a 24-hour period, more than 1,000 electronic mail messages during a 30-day period, or more than 10,000 electronic mail messages during a 1-year period.
(4) Other terms.— Any other term has the meaning given that term by section 3 of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 108–187, § 4(a)(1),Dec. 16, 2003, 117 Stat. 2703.)
References in Text

The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), are set out in the Appendix to this title.
Section 3 of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, referred to in subsec. (d)(4), is classified to section 7702 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.
Effective Date

Section effective Jan. 1, 2004, see section 16 ofPub. L. 108–187, set out as a note under section 7701 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade.

 

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