Space Ramblings

Can Spam Be Free Speech?

The Virginia case that has resulted in such a ruling by the Virginia Supreme Court is a poor example of the species mainly because it was a poorly constructed law applied to an extremely poorly constructed case involving an out of state spammer from North Carolina, nevertheless it is a valid question to a degree. Can spam be free speech? If Jack Smith sends out 10,000 unsolicited emails selling Viagra or 10,000 unsolicited emails selling Ron Paul, is there any fundamental difference? Obviously Ron Paul is a political solicitation and protected speech, but is the problem with spam in the product being sold or the method. Spam is obviously a method issue and the method problem with political speech is not limited to Spam. If I walk around my neighborhood from door to door pasting up Ron Paul 4 President stickers on everyone’s front door, I will be committing vandalism regardless of my political intent. Speech can only be protected when its method is itself legal. If I take a bullhorn at 3 in the morning and begin screaming RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT, my speech may be political, but my method isn’t protected.

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