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Is it legal for a website (company) to publicly post my e-mail address?

Chico, CA |

...thereby increasing my SPAM, and also "offering" to make the info "private" if I pay their fee for the "service" they provide? (imo, this is blackmail, coercion, and extortion) There are website-companies gathering this "public whois domain name registrar" info and doing this. REAL whois companies obfuscate the e-mail addresses so SPAM-bots can't gather them. So these people are complicit with e-mail spammers. (maybe this is a side business for e-mail spammers, a new way for them to make money, or something they changed to when they got into trouble spamming) I plan on reporting them to the U.S. Attorney General and Attorney General of New York state offices for their state and federal felony offenses. They refuse to remove my info, of course.

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Attorney answers 1


It is not illegal unless you are under the age of 13. However, the company could be in breach of contract. What does their TOS or Privacy Policy say about this issue?

While suing them will cost you thousands, you could have a lawyer send a cease and desist letter for a few hundred dollars. If they are a real company, they should cooperate.

You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Most lawyers on Avvo, including myself, offer a free phone consultation.
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law

This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.



Thank you. Unfortunately, a few hundred dollars isn't doable for me at the moment, and probably not the foreseeable future. I just thought of this, though. My e-mail address is my intellectual property. I created it, just like I would write anything else and publish it. Therefore, it is copyrighted by me, and any unauthorized use of it violates copyright laws and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is a "stretch", but not a long one. It may not even be a "stretch". It may not, or probably not, have been legally used yet, and have case law to support it, but it's probably past time. Law regarding the Internet is way behind the times. Thoughts?

Andrew Mark Jaffe

Andrew Mark Jaffe


Yes, it is a stretch. But send in the DMCA notice and see if it works. If they were my client I would tell them to remove the email addy.

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