The Spamhaus Project has told a U.S. court that it plans to appeal a recent ruling that threatened the volunteer organization with millions of dollars in legal fines and a possible shutdown of its database of known spammers.The notice was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by lawyers with Jenner & Block, a Chicago law firm that is now representing Spamhaus. Spamhaus, based in the United Kingdom, has a team of 25 investigators and claims to block between\u00a08 billion and\u00a010 billion e-mail messages per day. Its database is used by several major security vendors, including Microsoft.The filing marks the group\u2019s return to a legal fight against an e-mail marketing company called e360 Insight that Spamhaus had tried its best to ignore. Spamhaus had not shown up in court to dispute the charges against it, and the organization has made it clear that it does not accept U.S. jurisdiction over its activities. However, this position was apparently reconsidered after a proposed court order was published earlier this month calling on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Spamhaus\u2019s registrar, Tucows, to pull the project\u2019s domain name."Spamhaus is...concerned at how far a U.S. court will go before asking itself if it has jurisdiction, and is intending to contest the ruling in order to stamp out further attempts by spammers to abuse the U.S. court system in this way," the organization said in a statement on its website. That statement can be found here.The order, written by the plaintiffs in the case, does not have the force of law, but if the judge decides to accept it, observers said it could kick off a power struggle between ICANN, which is responsible for the Internet\u2019s domain name system, and the U.S. courts.Spamhaus\u2019s new legal counsel, Jenner & Block, is a well-respected firm with\u00a0more than\u00a0400 lawyers. It has offered its services in the case for free, said John Reid, a Spamhaus volunteer. "We are a nonprofit organization; spammers know this. That\u2019s why they sue, hoping we cannot afford to defend ourselves," Reid said. "Luckily, since we\u2019re the good guys, there are a lot of great lawyers, law firms and law professors around the world willing to step up and help.""We were asked to provide support by a number of folks with whom we\u2019ve been associated in the past," said Matthew Neumeier, a partner with Jenner & Block. He declined to say who had asked the firm to help out in the case.E360 Insight could not be reached immediately for comment on this story. In a statement on its website, the e-mail marketer cited Spamhaus\u2019 earlier decision to walk away from the case as evidence that it "could not produce its justification for the listing of e360 on its blacklists."-Robert McMillan, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)Related Links:\n\nICANN: Spamhaus Can\u2019t be Shut Down by Us\n\nSpamhaus Turns Blind Eye to U.S. Court Ruling\n\nSpamhaus Hit With Shutdown Threat by U.S. Court\n\nU.S., ICANN to Maintain Ties\n\nICANN Gets Domain Name Oversight Extension to 2011Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.