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Spammers Threaten Techdirt With Lawsuit 303

Posted by Hemos
from the the-cases-move-on dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Found over at Declan McCullough's Politech, some spammers who had been written up in the NY Times found their contact info displayed on Techdirt, after they wrote about the NY Times story. Apparently, someone was trying to pull a Ralsky on the spammers. The spammers got pissed off and threatened to sue Techdirt - even though all the info was publicly available and other court cases have shown it's legal to post spammer's contact information. Techdirt, interestingly, took the contact info down because they feel that no one should get spammed. I'm kind of torn on this one. On the one hand, I respect Techdirt for taking such a stand, but on the other, I feel that the spammers clearly deserve to be spammed back. The fact that they threatened Techdirt, despite them not having done anything wrong (it wasn't even the folks at Techdirt who posted the info - but some readers), makes me even angrier at the spammer."
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Spammers Threaten Techdirt With Lawsuit

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:03AM (#5823797)
    Then you risk the lawsuit. We all know what American justice is like. I'm not suprised at all, and their decision (to pull the info) has nothing to do with morality, or right and wrong, just common sense.
    • by frankie (91710) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:46AM (#5824273) Journal
      Then you risk the lawsuit.

      RTFA. Techdirt specifically said the threat had nothing to do with their decision, since it was unlikely to happen and even less likely to succeed. They pulled the information out of respect for privacy.

      Personally, I disagree. In general, a business has little or no right to privacy; their address is required by law to be public knowledge. IMHO, a business that intentionally intrudes on people's lives deserves none at all. But more importantly, contact information for Alyxsandra Sachs is public, not private:

      Furthermore: from the NYT article [nytimes.com]: "These antispammers should get a life," she said. "Do their fingers hurt too much from pressing the delete key? How much time does that really take from their day?"

      Between downloading it from our mail server, sorting it into a local folder, skimming the preview, and pressing delete, my office spends a couple thousand dollars a year in salaried employee time. Does that answer your question, Alyx?

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Furthermore: from the NYT article [nytimes.com]: "These antispammers should get a life," she said. "Do their fingers hurt too much from pressing the delete key? How much time does that really take from their day?"

        If it were only the time to delete the spam, I wouldn't be terribly upset. I did a back of the envelope calculation at a previous job and determined that my employer could save money by dedicating 2 people full time to stopping spam if they could reduce it by at least half. However, here are s
      • by minus_273 (174041) <aaaaa@SPAM.ya h o o . com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:14AM (#5824468) Journal
        ah you mean this:

        Sachs, Alyxsandra

        112 Catamaran St
        Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
        (310) 578-1728

      • [nytimes.com]: "These antispammers should get a life," she said. "Do their fingers hurt too much from pressing the delete key? How much time does that really take from their day?"

        Here's a better for question Alyx. How long does it take to throw out all of those catalogs that slashdot readers have thougtfully sent your way? You know, you could just have someone look through your mail for you (mail filter).

        But you complain that the mailman won't deliver your mail when your box is full? Kind of how my

  • Laughable. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tinfoil (109794) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:04AM (#5823801) Homepage Journal
    they feel that no one should get spammed

    How very naive of them. Why shouldn't the people that force us to take extreme measures for a little bit of privacy, convenience, not be made to deal with the same garbage that we do?
    • Re:Laughable. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bwalling (195998) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:14AM (#5823833) Homepage
      How very naive of them. Why shouldn't the people that force us to take extreme measures for a little bit of privacy, convenience, not be made to deal with the same garbage that we do?

      Because they are idealists, which means that they will never get anything done and they will always be inconvenienced by their ideals. That said, we can all benefit from those who believe so strongly in their ideals since the majority of us are weak enough to compromise our ideals any time it is convenient, profitable, fun, or whatever other excuse we invent.
      • You know, I hadn't thought of it that way. While it *is* nice to see someone stand up for their ideals, I just finished cleaning some 70 spams that got past Spamnet (Cloudmark). Perhaps I was a little hasty.
      • Re:Laughable. (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Having beliefs and living with them are two different things. Convictions mean the most when you can afford them the least.

        Of course, what I think is interesting also it that ultimately it is the lawyers that won. Techdirt attracted attention to itself and the issue, the spammers had their information taken down (although I suspect more people will find that information in the Google cache or other websites) and the lawyers got their $500 fee for sending that letter.

        Everyone wins, except us.

        Every time a
    • Re:Laughable. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Daetrin (576516) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:55AM (#5824328)
      I've always been an eye for an eye type guy myself. If you knowingly commit a crime or immoral act, then you forgo your legal/moral protection from the same. No one complains when a thief gets fined or when the murdering bad guy in a movie gets killed (people get much more worked up about state-sanctioned death penalties, but that's more of a political thing)

      If they want to send unsolicited junk mail, either because they think that it's okay, or they don't care that it's wrong, they've got no right to complain about the same thing being done to them, and people who have been spammed by them suffer no karmic penalty for doing so.

      Likewise, if the spammers are going to try and claim that the right to free speech protects them, they've certainly got no right to try and sue people who use their right to free speech to tell their friends which incoming email addresses they should block.

      • No one complains when a thief gets fined

        But do we let the victim into the thief's home and let them pick out something to keep?

        or when the murdering bad guy in a movie gets killed

        In the movies, murdering bad guys usually don't have families that care about and love them. In the real world, they do.

        Your analogies are weak.
        • But do we let the victim into the thief's home and let them pick out something to keep?

          We return the stolen items to the victem and/or give them some cash, and let the thief figure out what to sell to come up with the cash, so? How exactly does that relate to the question at hand? An eye for an eye is a metaphorical example, and even people who believe in the general idea don't insist that it be carried out in an exactly literal way for every case.

          In the movies, murdering bad guys usually don't have fa

    • They should have let people decide for themselves how to respond to the spammers. One need not respond to spam with spam.

      Perhaps some of the readers might have only had physical injury or substantial property damage to the spammers.

      The techdirt people should also remember that spammers are in the most literal sense, enemies of all humanity and we are entitled to know who our enemies are and where to find them.

  • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:04AM (#5823802)
    So, just out of idle curiosity you understand, who were these spammers that threatened the legal action?
    • Re:Which spammers? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by christoph_s (537721)
      it would be great if someone posted their addresses here - talk about going from bad to worse... i'd rather be flooded by the techdirt- than the slashdot crowd ;-)
    • What's wrong with showing their contact information to everybody?

      For instance, I would benefit those rich guys so much by offering some business opportunity in Nigeria I'm into.

      Ah, praise the lord for those helping guys, always wanting to inform you about the latest and greatest offers, and refusing to accept anything in exchange...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:16AM (#5824137)
      That would be known spammer [nytimes.com] Alyxsandra Sachs 112 Catamaran St Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-5769 (310)578-1728 info@netglobalmarketing.com 323-871-2000x11 Fax Number: 323-871-0625 Albert Ahdoot aahdoot@yahoo.com
      • Mod parent up, and rally the troops! War dialers, catalog mailers, religious missionaries, go get 'em!
      • by FyRE666 (263011) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:59AM (#5824348) Homepage
        Just read the article you linked about Alyx Sachs and her cohort. To quote her:

        "These antispammers should get a life," she said. "Do their fingers hurt too much from pressing the delete key? How much time does that really take from their day?"

        By contrast, she said, "70 million people have bad credit. Guess what? Now I can't get mail through to them to help them."

        Did anyone else reading that feel a powerful compulsion to punch her in the face? As someone who recieves anything up to 200 pieces of spam a DAY now, I know I did.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Reformatted for faster copying to webforms:

        Alyxsandra Sachs
        112 Catamaran St
        Marina Del Rey
        CA 90292-5769
        (310)578-1728
        info@netglobalmarketing.com

        Albert Ahdoot
        323-871-2000x11
        Fax Number: 323-871-0625
        aahdoot@yahoo.com

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Congratulations Alyxsandra and Albert. You succeeded in getting your contact info taken down from Techdirt, where maybe 1400 people saw it. Unfortunately, now it's Modded to +5 on Slashdot, and a good 140,000 people are probably looking at it. And taking action already.

        Congratulations on your intelligence. On the other hand, I guess if you were smart, you might not have to be a spammer for a living.
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:06AM (#5823809)
    It's very much like capital punishment, or the "eye for an eye" rule in the Old Testament. The normal way out of this connundrum is a follows: What makes a certain act wrong, normally, is that a party without the proper authority does it. I.e., it's more OK for a judge to send someone to jail than for you to. Same thing in the Old Testament. You can't just go around killing other people, unless it's doing so to uphold a law established by God. So in this spamming scenario? If it's not breaking the law, then retribution at *least* seems just.
    • OT reference: Exodus 21:22 "If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [5] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

      Leviticus 24:19 If anyone injures his neighbor, whatever he has done must be done to him: 20 frac

      • The other thing I'd add is that, at least for the Exodus verse, the Hebrew translated here as "take" actually means more like "put in the place of"--i.e., monetary restitution. I'm too lazy to look up your other two quotes, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing.
  • But it irks me to have to maintain this stuff, just so I don't get a gazillion spams a day.

    Maybe we should just resign ourselves to having to treat spam like viruses. Fixing the symptoms and not the cause.
  • by JessLeah (625838) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:11AM (#5823822)
    ...that all it takes to bring virtually any effort to a screeching halt is for somebody with more money than you to threaten a lawsuit. At that point, whammo, you have to stop what you're doing.

    When you are a small site, or an individual person without a tremendous income (read: everyone short of a CEO), that basically means "any company, or even individual, can threaten to sue you, and there goes whatever you were working on."

    This seems to be a rather disturbing new part of our market reality.

    Recall the DeCSS case. Several dozen named defendants, and several hundred "Does", were threatened in court by the DVD-CCA, acting as a representative of the interests of some of the largest companies on Earth. Whammo, most of the people capitulated, the courts bowed to the pressure of the RIAA's fat pocketbooks, and the DVD-CCA's will became law-- DeCSS is now effectively "illegal". Cases like this spam one seem to be the result of "trickle-down" thinking-- or as Star Control 2 would have it, "dribble-down"-- whereby smaller and smaller companies begin to adopt the same nasty tactics.

    Let's face it-- if you run a small and/or non-profit site, and if some company or businessperson with lots of money (or even a moderate amount of money) makes a credible threat to send in the lawyers, you're at least as likely as not to give in to their pressure. It's simple survival instinct-- no one wants to get sued, especially (A) in this economy and (B) by someone with much fatter coffers than themselves.

    What this is leading to is a situation where the rich can effectively (and, as close to possible, directly-- about the only more direct way would be to put a gun to one's head!) force the poor to do whatever they want. No laws (legal, moral or otherwise) really seem to touch the really "big fish" (RIAA, MPAA, Microsoft, etc.), and they get away with a slap on the wrist-analogue at worst; now, even smaller entities like these spammers can effectively throw their monetary weight around to silence dot-bomb-impoverished techies running innocent sites.

    I fear that this trend will become far more pervasive, and will get far worse before it gets better. If it ever gets better... I personally do not believe that the current Powers That Be in the US really care that much about "the little guys" getting spurious lawsuit threats every time they do something someone Richer-Than-Thou happens to dislike...
    • by selderrr (523988) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:27AM (#5823882) Journal
      I agree with you, but compare this to the situation in the past : 100 years ago, we had the same issue with industrialists. 200 years ago with big farmers vs small farmers. 300 years ago with big guns vs small guns.
      Don't pretend this to be the disease of the 21st century just because we're using the law instead of money or guns. And then again, the laws have always been bent by the guys in charge.

      While i don't approve of it, it seems to be the nature of the human beast. It's amazing how we haven't exterminated ourselves.

      As a side note : i find the way Berlusconi is CEO of Italy far more frightening than what the US is doing. After all, we europeans excpect US politicians to be puppets in the hands of the big corporations. But Berlusconi is a whole other matter.
    • by surprise_audit (575743) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:40AM (#5823938)
      Recall the DeCSS case. Several dozen named defendants, and several hundred "Does", were threatened in court by the DVD-CCA, acting as a representative of the interests of some of the largest companies on Earth. Whammo, most of the people capitulated, the courts bowed to the pressure of the RIAA's fat pocketbooks, and the DVD-CCA's will became law-- DeCSS is now effectively "illegal".

      I realize this is wishful thinking, and way too late, but what do you suppose would have happened if the various DVD-player-for-Windows software houses had taken that lesson to heart and declined to produce their players? Would the sudden lack of legal players for Windows have had a noticeable effect on the MPAA? It would certainly have had some effect on their potential market, but would it have been enough?

      Ah well, too late now. And anyway, it would only have required one software house to not give a damn...

      BTW, do any of the legal Windows DVD players work well in Linux?

    • by Rick.C (626083) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:41AM (#5823944)
      Let's face it-- if you run a small and/or non-profit site, and if some company or businessperson with lots of money (or even a moderate amount of money) makes a credible threat to send in the lawyers, you're at least as likely as not to give in to their pressure. It's simple survival instinct-- no one wants to get sued, especially (A) in this economy and (B) by someone with much fatter coffers than themselves.

      The issue here is your "comfort zone." If you, a geek, start talking tech in a threatening way to your techno-phobe neighbor, he's not going to argue with you or try to fight back. He's out of his element. Same with a geek who is being intimidated by someone who is law-savvy. We tend to cringe, apologize and hope they go away. The fact that they might be able to hurt us financially makes us take their threats seriously. If they did the same thing to a lawyer they would probably get a far different response.

      Think about it - you and you neighbor have a little spat about a fence or a barking dog or something. You threaten to "route his Roadrunner connection through your proxy sniffer and VPN his DoS to every kiddie-porn site in the country." Imagine the expression on his face. What are his options? Hire a techie to defend himself? That costs money. He doesn't even understand what you said, except that it sounds bad and you sound serious. He's gonna fold.

      What we really need to do to stop this legal-bullying is to get more familiar with the law.

    • More like a sad fact of modern US life.

      Anyway, according to the Techdirt folks, they didn't consider a lawsuit when taking this down. Quote:

      Please note: we did not remove this info due to the threat of the lawsuit, but simply because we think spam, of any nature is bad. Even if it's against those who practice it on others. I, also, am not sure what sort of lawsuit they could level against us. We did not do this to "play it safe" - because I don't believe there's a real threat. We did this (after some int

      • Not to be dismissive or offensive, but this sounds like a polite way of covering up their shame at their (PERFECTLY RATIONAL) fear of a lawsuit. The fact of the matter is that spammers, as a group, have lots of money; TechDirt (I think) does not. You don't have to be an Einstein to be afraid of the spam-scums, when they routinely buy those fancy big houses in Florida with the pools with their ill-gotten money...
        • by CausticWindow (632215) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:13AM (#5824121)

          If this is indeed how americans view their legal system, then I think it's time for them (you) to do something to change it.

          It's one thing that your only measure of quality of life is wealth, another one entirely that relative amount of money is the only thing separating right from wrong. While the judicial system is no absolute in right vs. wrong in theory, it is in practice.

          • It's mighty easy for someone (an American or otherwise) to throw that idea around, and terribly difficult to actually make it a reality.

            The sad fact of the matter is that there hasn't been an effective widespread protest movement since the '60s here in the US. And there won't be any time soon.

            The apathy of the American population is growing, not shrinking. Attempting to motivate them to protest anything at all is an exercise in futility.

            Not to be a pessimist, but... that's how I see it. YMMV.
            • The apathy of the American population is growing, not shrinking. Attempting to motivate them to protest anything at all is an exercise in futility.

              I disagree, the problem is not apathy but how out of touch the wanna-be protest organizers are with America.

              Of course anti-war protesters, many of whom cut their teeth in the 60's, couldn't mobilize America as well as they would have liked. Most of America saw right through their outrageous lies and bombastic rhetoric. (Hint: No matter how many times you saw i
    • by anonymous cowfart (576665) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:54AM (#5824022) Journal
      Score:5, Offtopic

      Okay everybody, the game is over and JessLeah is the winner. Slashdot will now be closed.

      LAST POST!
      • by JessLeah (625838)
        Heh, I love how negativistic SlashDot's moderation system was on this one. Almost as bad as pessimistic lil' ol' me.

        The post started at 2 (cuz I have nice karma), and got a bunch of mod-ups and ONE mod-down ("Offtopic"). So the Slash code did the math and dutifully reported the score as 5 (correct)... and of course focused solely on the fact that my post was modded "Offtopic". Of all the modding done to my post, it only noted the ONE NEGATIVE MOD in the Score line.

        And I thought I saw the world through
    • Which is why lawyers, if they are officers of the court, should be court employees as well, and free to anyone who wants them.

      This of course will mean they are civil service rather than high-flight professional jobs, but will democratize access to legal representation. Since it won't be he-who-has-the-best-lawyer-on-retainer wins, it will be a much chancier thing to threaten a lawsuit.

      It might even make people take a deep breath, step back, and think whether we really need 1/5 of our economy or more to be
  • by prmths (325452) <prmths AT f00 DOT org> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:11AM (#5823824) Homepage
    This type of story is too common lately. Spammers get their emails discovered, the address is posted and they whine and bitch because they get spam. How about all of us get together and compare notes on which spams we get, find the responsible party and get busy on 'em. After all we are 'hackers' are we not? I'm sure that within the slashdot crowd lies the potential to really deal a blow against spammers. heh
    we should launch the friggin holy war of tech against spam.
    we have bayesian filters, RBL lists, white lists.. all sorts of tools that only attack the tip of the problem. We all need to get together and destroy the many bases of spam. The US government has its war against terror. We nerds should launch our war against spammers. We are just as capable to fight this war as the US is to fight theirs.
  • by ReTay (164994) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:17AM (#5823846)
    Just think for a minute what a spammer will do to abuse an ISP or to send you spam. They have all ready proven they are scum. Are you surprised they will abuse the law? But for the money I would say smack them down. I have been thinking of free gifts to send them.
    The mind boggels....
    • by prmths (325452) <prmths AT f00 DOT org> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:25AM (#5823874) Homepage
      speaking of abusing ISP's... I used to run a web hosting company (that failed because i can't sell worth sh*t).. but before i know anything about what i was doing, my mail server was setup as an open relay (i know, i should go to hell) -- but anyways, one day, my server became completely unusable because of the amount of spam they were pumping through my server. I quickly killed the mail server and proceded to start over on it. Soon after, I got listed on RBL lists and finally once my mail server was fixed (btw, smtp auth works wonders) I stopped having problems with the bandwidth thieves and got myself off the RBL lists. I paid for my ignorance... The point is: besides annoying the hell out of EVERYONE in the world, spammers are no more than thieves stealing resources from ISP's --- not like ththe ISP's don't have it coming... but they're still thieves.
      • by ReTay (164994) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:35AM (#5823909)
        I beg to differ.
        They caused you headaches
        To you and your customers they lost the ablilty to send mail with your servers. You probibly lost customers, right?

        b. Loss of time to get off the RBL's and to explain it to angry customers.
        The people who recieved that spam the other ISPs that paid for the bandwidth and on and on and on
        More then simple bandwidth theft.
        But then I really hate spammers.

  • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:21AM (#5823859) Homepage Journal
    Or as Ghandi said, after awhile, an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.
    • Then we start on the ears!
    • That's true -- Mohandas Gandhi favored ten eyes for an eye. When the Nawab of Maler Kotla issued an edict demanding ten Muslims dead for every Hindu killed in the state, Mr. Nonviolent-Resistance gave it his blessing. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that up until World War I, he was just fine being an officer in the British Army (fought in the Boer Wars and the Zulu wars). Or that he let his wife die because he didn't want her to receive a penicillin injection to fight her pneumonia (hey, the guy had h

  • How long untill their info shows up in this slashdot thread?
  • the motto (Score:2, Insightful)

    "Let me spam in peace," or
    "I hate spam, please let me spam you"
  • by Baron_Yam (643147) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:36AM (#5823916)

    That if spammers had what most slashdotters considered a fully-functional mind, the old "giving them a dose of their own medicine" routine would wise them up.

    Since spammers seem to have selective ethics at best, all we can really do is enjoy them drowning in their own kind of filth for a while without the warm fuzzy that they're actually learning their lesson.

    I firmly believe that people who engage in anti-social behaviour that negatively affects their social group should be subjected to appropriate retribution from the affected group... I'm very disappointed that as I post this, I have yet to see someone suitably sleuthful track down and post the censored information.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:37AM (#5823919)
    Folks, spammers are the messengers. You can shoot them all day and the spam will keep coming.

    The target must be those who hire the spammers. After all, spammers are doing this for the money. No money, no spam.

    Target the spammers income stream.
    • No, we have to go after both. What you suggest is something like going after the person who hired an assassin and leave the assassin go free because he was doing it for the money.

      I know this isn't a very good analogy, but the point is: Everybody involved in commiting a crime should suffer the consequences. Not just who paid for it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Great.

      Now I'm envisioning the commercials with the Bambi-eyed teenagers saying "I helped waste bandwidth"... "I helped clog thousands of mail servers worldwide"... "I helped send penis enlargement ads to my grandmother".

      "Where do spammers get their money? If you buy drugs, some of it might come from you."

      shudder

      Thanks.
    • The target must be those who hire the spammers. After all, spammers are doing this for the money. No money, no spam.

      But if current spammers are grossly inconvenienced, their costs to do business will go up. That cost will be passed on to the people who hire the spammers. (Guess what--spammers don't send junk email just for kicks. They're in it for the money.)

      If spamming becomes unpleasant enough for its practitioners, they'll have to price themselves out of the market just to try to break even. Fewe

  • Okay, bring 'em on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chazzf (188092) <cfulton&deepthought,org> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:37AM (#5823920) Homepage Journal
    Alyxsandra Sachs
    112 Catamaran St
    Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-5769
    (310)578-1728

    Sue me. I'm a poor college student with plenty of free time and malicious friends. Make my day.
  • from google (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:38AM (#5823927)
    http://216.239.39.100/search?q=cache:5ZxgA2bz1tUJ: www.techdirt.com/articles/20030424/2023243_F.shtml +techdirt+spammer+times+site:techdirt.com&hl=en&ie =UTF-8

    and

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20030424/202324 3_ F.shtml

    not the original, but has the links to the spammers involved.
  • Spammers are scum (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rf0 (159958) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:40AM (#5823941) Homepage
    Plain and simple spammers are scum. They steal, in terms of using open relay servers and other peoples bandwidth. The lie in that 99.9% of the things they sell don't work. They cheat in trying to hide information. Also taking the amount of spam I get can make it really hard to filter the good from the bad even with filtering each and every message

    Rus
  • by GGardner (97375) on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:47AM (#5823977)
    I was surprised to read the article in the paper about these guys -- the NYT actually printed their picture.

    I wonder if the NYT hates spam as much as the rest of us do, and knows that publishing articles about specific spammers will cause certain unpleasantnesses for those spammers?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 28, 2003 @08:51AM (#5824004)
    alyx@netglobalmarketing.com Maybe we should find out. Maybe we should help the person at this address find some great deals on genetalia enhancement or how to make money fast! Perhaps they can use a college degree!
  • What happens (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tmark (230091) on Monday April 28, 2003 @09:04AM (#5824078)
    Sure it's funny to imagine that these spammers are themselves getting deluged with spam. But what happens if some nutcase firebombs their house, abducts their children, or murders their wife, as a direct result of seeing of the spammers' "outing" ?

    Would it be funny or just then ?

    • Re:What happens (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sik puppy (136743)
      at the risk of being flamebait

      after your scenario happened once or twice, I think we would see a dramatic reduction in spam.

      I'm actually surprised that there hasn't been a case of spammer lynching as yet.

      Like most people the only thing that keeps me from doing it is the thought of spending 30 years in prison. Not worth taking the chance of getting a couple of fellow rabid anti-spammers to sit on your jury.

      That said, if you were sitting on a jury for the trial of someone who killed a spammer, would you
      • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquietNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:24AM (#5824532) Journal
        That said, if you were sitting on a jury for the trial of someone who killed a spammer, would you vote for conviction?

        Um, yes? Premeditated murder is one of those things that most civilized societies prefer not to condone. (Save for when approved by the state in times of war, or when commited by the U.S. 'corrections' system.) Talk about a disproportionate response. Spammers are really, really, really annoying, and they're thieves without question--but we stopped hanging thieves more than a century ago.

        On the other hand, maybe if someone just gave a spammer a really good beating, I could let that slide...

      • That said, if you were sitting on a jury for the trial of someone who killed a spammer, would you vote for conviction?

        Not only that, but I would seriously think about convicting the website proprietor who posted the spammer's personal information (assuming this was pivotal in the incident).
    • Seriously, these people are assholes. If something like that happened, just a few times, I bet Spam would go down a lot. I wouldn't like to see their wives or children hurt, though.

      What I'd really like would be to see these guys thrown in jail. Most of these people are "hackers" at least, and could probably charged under the PATRIOT act for 'cyber terrorism' or something, if the government actually gave a shit...
    • Would it be funny or just then ?

      Yes. In fact I'd pay to watch...
    • Let's examine this.
      There is no way to defend against a lone wacko, in fact, if a lone wacko decides you are the target, you're in serious trouble. Because of this, it's probably best to not let these wackos think of you at all. A bad way to stay off of wacko's lists is to send email to half of the Earth every twenty minutes. Eventually you are gonna hit Ted Kaczinsky or John Hinkley Jr.
      If the house gets burned or the kids get snatched that's an unavoidable side effect of unsolicited commercial email.
  • by KrisJon (6582)
    OK, if spammers get their knickers in a twist and some have ethical issues with posting that information, do the next best thing:

    Create and post a HOWTO showing how to find the information yourself. You can't find everyone on Google and unless you want to pay a service $$$, there is an art to finding someone's meatspace info.
  • This COMES from /.! (Score:5, Informative)

    by I)_MaLaClYpSe_(I (447961) on Monday April 28, 2003 @10:02AM (#5824374)
    I followed the link to a cached version of the techdirt site someone linked to, and you know what?

    The Address of Alyxsandra Sachs was not posted on techdirt but a link to... you guessed it, slashdot! Someone only posted this [slashdot.org] link :-).

    I find this extremely funny :-)
  • I remember him getting the boot from the entire IT industry because of spamming. Looks like he will have some new friends to join him in his little pity party.
  • by Aidtopia (667351) on Monday April 28, 2003 @11:52AM (#5825183) Homepage Journal

    Has anybody tried to prosecute spammers for executing what amounts to a denial of service attack? When 99% of your email is unsolicited commercial bulk email, it makes that 1% very hard to find. Isn't this a small scale DoS attack on an individual? Isn't the cumulative effect on ISPs huge?

    When I moved into my new home, I discovered the previous owners were mail-order people. I was receiving 100-120 catalogs every week (literally). My recycling company refused to cart off our weekly junk mail. Bills were getting lost, wedged between the pages of catalogs. I registered with the DMA, and I sent over 350 letters and made more than 100 phone calls to snail-mail spammers. Eventually it made difference. Now (three years later) we get about 10 catalogs a week. I spent a lot of time and money (postage, envelopes, etc.), but at least most of the 200 companies respected our wishes (in time, after multiple notices).

    With email spam, we don't even have the option of complaining and opting-out. And yes, email bills are sometimes blocked by my ISP's spam filters. So haven't the spammers effectively eliminated our email service by flooding it? Isn't that a denial of service attack?

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