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MARYLAND CRIMINAL LAW CODE
Title 3.  Other Crimes Against the Person
Subtitle 8.  Stalking and Harassment
(as amended in 2004)


§ 3-805.  Misuse of electronic mail.

    (a) "Electronic mail" defined. -- In this section, "electronic mail" means the transmission of information or a communication by the use of a computer or other electronic means that is sent to a person identified by a unique address and that is received by the person.

    (b) Prohibited. -- A person may not use electronic mail with the intent to harass:

    (1) one or more persons; or

    (2) by sending lewd, lascivious, or obscene material.

    (c) Construction of section. -- It is not a violation of this section for any of the following persons to provide information, facilities, or technical assistance to another who is authorized by federal or State law to intercept or provide electronic mail or to conduct surveillance of electronic mail, if a court order directs the person to provide the information, facilities, or technical assistance:

    (1) a provider of electronic mail;

    (2) an officer, employee, agent, landlord, or custodian of a provider of electronic mail; or

    (3) a person specified in a court order directing the provision of information, facilities, or technical assistance to another who is authorized by federal or State law to intercept or provide electronic mail or to conduct surveillance of electronic mail.

    (d) Exception. -- This section does not apply to a peaceable activity intended to express a political view or provide information to others.

    (e) Penalty. -- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.


§ 3-805.1.  Spam deterrence

    (a) Definitions. --

    (1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

    (2) "Commercial electronic mail message" means an electronic message sent primarily for the purpose of commercial advertisement or promotion of:

    (i) a commercial product;

    (ii) a commercial service;

    (iii) the content on an Internet website; or

    (iv) a website operated for a commercial purpose.

    (3) "Domain name" means any alphanumeric designation that is registered with or assigned by a domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority as part of an electronic mail address on the Internet.

    (4) "Electronic mail service provider" means any person, including an Internet service provider, that is an intermediary in sending and receiving electronic mail and that provides to the public the ability to send or receive electronic mail to or from an electronic mail account or on-line user account.

    (5) "Financial institution" has the same meaning as provided in § 1-101 of the Financial Institutions Article.

    (6) "Header information" means the source, destination, and routing information attached to an electronic mail message, including the originating domain name and originating electronic mail address, and any other information that appears in the line identifying or purporting to identify a person initiating the message, and technical information that authenticates the sender of an electronic mail message for network security or network management purposes.

    (7) The term "initiate", when used with respect to a commercial electronic mail message, means to originate or transmit the message or to procure the origination or transmission of the message and does not include actions that constitute routine conveyance of such message.

    (8) "Internet" means the international computer network of both federal and nonfederal interoperable packet switched data networks.

    (9) "Internet protocol address" means the string of numbers by which a location on the Internet is identified by routers or other computers connected to the Internet.

    (10) "Materially falsified" means altered or concealed in a manner that would impair the ability of one of the following to identify, locate, or respond to a person who initiated an electronic mail message or to investigate an alleged violation of this section:

    (i) a recipient of the message;

    (ii) an Internet access service processing the message on behalf of a recipient;

    (iii) a person alleging a violation of this section; or

    (iv) a law enforcement agency.

    (11) "Multiple" means:

    (i) more than 10 commercial electronic mail messages during a 24-hour period;

    (ii) more than 100 commercial electronic mail messages during a 30-day period; or

    (iii) more than 1,000 commercial electronic mail messages during a 1-year period.

    (12) "Protected computer" means a computer used in intrastate or interstate communication.

    (13) "Routine conveyance" means the transmission, routing, relaying, handling, or storing, through an automatic technical process, of an electronic mail message for which another person has identified the recipients or provided the recipient addresses.

    (b) Dissemination of spam prohibited. -- A person may not conspire to or knowingly:

    (1) use a protected computer of another to relay or retransmit multiple commercial electronic mail messages with the intent to deceive or mislead recipients or an electronic mail service provider as to the origin of the message;

    (2) materially falsify header information in multiple commercial electronic mail messages and intentionally initiate the transmission of the messages;

    (3) register, using information that materially falsifies the identity of the actual registrant, for 15 or more electronic mail accounts or on-line user accounts or two or more domain names and intentionally initiate the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from one or any combination of accounts or domain names;

    (4) falsely represent the right to use five or more Internet protocol addresses and intentionally initiate the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from the Internet protocol addresses;

    (5) access a protected computer of another without authorization, and intentionally initiate the transmission of multiple electronic mail advertisements from or through the protected computer;

    (6) violate item (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this subsection by providing or selecting addresses to which a message was transmitted, knowing that:

    (i) the electronic mail addresses of the recipients were obtained using an automated means from an Internet website or proprietary on-line service operated by another person; and

    (ii) the website or on-line service included, at the time the addresses were obtained, a notice stating that the operator of the website or on-line service will not transfer addresses maintained by the website or on-line service to any other party for the purposes of initiating or enabling others to initiate electronic mail messages; or

    (7) violate item (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this subsection by providing or selecting electronic mail addresses of recipients obtained using an automated means that generates possible electronic mail addresses by combining names, letters, or numbers into numerous permutations.

    (c) Penalties. --

    (1) A person who violates subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $ 5,000 or both.

    (2) A person who violates subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section involving the transmission of more than 250 commercial electronic mail messages during a 24-hour period, 2,500 commercial electronic mail messages during any 30-day period, or 25,000 commercial electronic mail messages during any 1-year period is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $ 10,000 or both.

    (3) A person who violates subsection (b)(3) of this section involving 20 or more electronic mail accounts or 10 or more domain names and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from the accounts or using the domain names is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $ 10,000 or both.

    (4) A person who violates subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section that causes a loss of $ 500 or more during any 1-year period is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $ 10,000 or both.

    (5) A person who violates subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section in concert with three or more other persons as the leader or organizer of the action that constitutes the violation is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $ 10,000 or both.

    (6) A person who violates subsection (b)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section in furtherance of a felony, or who has previously been convicted of an offense under the laws of this State, another state, or under any federal law involving the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages is guilty of a felony and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $ 25,000 or both.

    (7) A person who violates subsection (b)(6) or (7) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $ 5,000 or both.

    (d) Forfeitures. -- In addition to any other sentence authorized by law, the court may direct that a person convicted of a violation of this section forfeit to the State:

    (1) any moneys and other income, including all proceeds earned but not yet received by a defendant from a third party as a result of the defendant's violation of this section; and

    (2) all computer equipment, computer software, and personal property used in connection with a violation of this section known by the owner to have been used in violation of this section.

    (e) Time limitations. --

    (1) An action brought under this subsection shall be commenced within 2 years after the commission of the act.

    (2) The Attorney General may institute a civil action against a person who violates this section to recover a civil penalty not exceeding:

    (i) $ 25,000 per day of violation; or

    (ii) not less than $ 2 nor more than $ 8 per commercial electronic mail message initiated in violation of this section.

    (3) The Attorney General may seek an injunction in a civil action to prohibit a person who has engaged in or is engaged in a violation of this section from engaging in the violation.

    (4) The Attorney General may enforce criminal violations of this section.

    (f) Construction. -- Nothing in this section shall be construed to have any effect on the lawfulness of the adoption, implementation, or enforcement by an electronic mail service provider of a policy of declining to transmit, route, relay, handle, or store certain types of electronic mail messages under any other provision of law.



MARYLAND COMMERCIAL LAW CODE
Title 14.  Miscellaneous Consumer Protection Provisions
Subtitle 30.  Commercial Electronic Mail
(added in 2002)


§ 14-3001.

(a)  In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

(b) (1)  "Commercial electronic mail" means electronic mail that advertises real property, goods, or services for sale or lease.

(2)  "Commercial electronic mail" does not include electronic mail to which an interactive computer service provider has attached an advertisement in exchange for free use of an electronic mail account.

(c) (1)  "Interactive computer service provider" means an information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer service.

(2)  "Interactive computer service provider" includes a service or system that provides access to the internet and systems operated or services offered by a library or educational institution.


§ 14-3002.

(a)  This section does not apply to an interactive computer service provider or a telecommunication utility to the extent that the interactive computer service provider or the telecommunication utility merely handles, retransmits, or carries a transmission of commercial electronic mail.

(b)  A person may not initiate the transmission, conspire with another person to initiate the transmission, or assist in the transmission of commercial electronic mail that:

(1)  is from a computer in the state or is sent to an electronic mail address that the sender knows or should have known is held by a resident of the state; and
(2) (i)  uses a third party's internet domain name or electronic mail address without the permission of the third party;
(ii)  contains false or misleading information about the origin or the transmission path of the commercial electronic mail; or
(iii)  contains false or misleading information in the subject line that has the capacity, tendency, or effect of deceiving the recipient.

(c)  a person is presumed to know that the intended recipient of commercial electronic mail is a resident of the state if the information is available on request from the registrant of the internet domain name contained in the recipient's electronic mail address.

(d)  an interactive computer service provider:

(1)  may block the receipt or transmission through its interactive computer service of commercial electronic mail that it reasonably believes is or will be sent in apparent violation of this section; and
(2)  may not be held liable for an action under item (1) of this subsection that is voluntarily taken in good faith.


§ 14-3003.

A person who violates this subtitle is liable for reasonable attorney's fees and for damages:

(1) to the recipient of commercial electronic mail, in an amount equal to the greater of $500 or the recipient's actual damages;
(2) to the third party without whose permission the third party's internet domain name or electronic mail address was used, in an amount equal to the greater of $500 or the third party's actual damages; and
(3) to an interactive computer service provider, in an amount equal to the greater of $1,000 or the interactive computer service provider's actual damages.

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