Originally posted by FMF
Microsoft wins court approval to shut down a network of PCs which it says is responsible for billions of spam messages.
Spam doesn't garner too many friends, granted. But isn't spam just a form of speech? And so isn't "shutting it down" a restriction of free speech?
In the US, at least, commercial speech is not afforded the same degree of freedom as political speech. There is a right to free commercial speech, but it can be reasonably limited as long as the regulation is for a good reason*. Political speech can only be limited if the regulation so limiting it is necessary to achieve a compelling interest, a much more exacting standard.
To me, at least, it's perfectly reasonable for the government to protect people from having their email addresses effectively rendered unusable by enormous volumes of unsolicited spam (forget, for a moment, that gmail and similar addys can filter spam). Therefore, I think that regulating and/or stopping spam is reasonable.
* The legal standard is more technical, but "good reason" is close enough