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'Spam King' Released From Prison, Now Lives In Seattle 275

Posted by timothy
from the stocks-and-pillories-by-pike-place-market-please dept.
dmmiller2k writes "Apparently, after 'nearly four years in prison, the man dubbed the 'Spam King' by federal prosecutors, is allowed back online.' I wonder if there's some variation of Megan's Law requiring him to register with the local police department and notify all his neighbors with computers?" I sure hope any potential employers google "Robert Soloway" and find "Spam king" high on the results list.
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'Spam King' Released From Prison, Now Lives In Seattle

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2011 @03:58PM (#35372248)

    via email no doubt

  • "I wonder if there's some variation of Megan's Law requiring him to register with the local police department and notify all his neighbors with computers?"

    No there isn't, and after he has completed his parole he can apply for a name change in case his current name and reputation makes it hard to find employment.

    • by Manfre (631065)

      A background check would catch name changes and most employers ask their potential hires if they've ever been convicted of a crime. If he lies during the interview process and the employer later finds out, that will probably get him fired and soil his new name.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        You didn't read the summary did you?

        "I sure hope any potential employers google "Robert Soloway" and find "Spam king" high on the results list."

        Thats what a name change is for, and while I'm aware of putting other names in on applications, in many states theres a sunset on how far back they can look for name changes and for convictions.

        Washington's law is 7 or 10 years I think.

        I actually had a fight over a job in Washington 2 years ago. The form said "within last 7 years" and I'd had a conviction for a misd

        • by swb (14022) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @05:29PM (#35373500)

          I'm a death penalty proponent and believe in harsh sentences for crimes like robbery, sexual assault and burglary, but I think the permanent punishment people experience well after they have been tried, convicted and served their time is a grave injustice and actually ends up producing more harm than it solves.

          I think that it should be illegal to ask if you have been convicted of a crime in a job application or a job interview. Only under very specific circumstances should it be possible to deny someone employment or housing based upon a past conviction -- if you are still on parole for a crime of violence or if you are applying for employment in a field tied to your conviction within 2 years of the end of your sentence (ie, you did time for embezzlement and you want to be an accountant).

          And even then they should be required to spell this out. Getting caught discriminating illegally should involve a fine payable to the discriminated employee equal to a minimum of 5 years salary PLUS their legal fees with a multiplier

          We're "convicting" people of crimes, letting them off with no sentences because our jails are full and then punishing them FOREVER because they once had a conviction. And then we act surprised when they turn to drug dealing, robbery, burglary or other criminal enterprises because they can't get a job.

    • by cdrudge (68377)

      Depending on the job, even a basic background check probably would find alternate names. Every job application or background check consent form has asked for previous names/aliases and criminal background. Either lying or omitting has the potential for repercussion that could be worse then just telling the truth to begin with.

    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:19PM (#35372514) Journal

      It seems as though there are quite a few people here who do not think the punishment decided on by our legal system is enough, and wish this "spam king" would have to keep paying, and paying, and paying for his crimes. Now, I do not hold absolute trust in our current legal system, but the alternative is mob rule and vigilante justice, which is a thing no sane citizen would wish for.

      Personally, I think the punishment is sort of light. But that does not entitle me to take action against the man. The law of the land does not boil down to "What I, personally, think is fair." If I felt strongly enough that this punishment was too light, I would write to my representatives to advocate for tougher cyber-crime laws. I would not go to this criminal's new home town with a gun, as some are (jokingly? who knows in today's political climate.) advocating.

      Nor do I wish that this man never finds employment again. That would mean that my tax dollars would go to support him. I'd rather he finds some useful work, due to my own self-interest, and my feeling that, once you have paid your dues to society, you deserve a second chance.

      This is coming from my civilized side. My vindictive side thinks the man should die in a fire, but I am trying REALLY HARD not to give in to my vindictive side. If I did that, we'd have a lot of dead motorists here in New Mexico (land of the worst drivers in the world) and I would be in jail myself.

      • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

        I think the guy should be banned from computer ownership and work for at least twice the time Mitnick was originally banned.

        And stick him with only access to a land line too.

        I don't condone killing him or a database for computer offenders by any means.

      • My vindictive side thinks the man should die in a fire, but I am trying REALLY HARD not to give in to my vindictive side.

        I find it disappointing that people here are joking about killing a guy who basically annoyed them with some e-mail. Yeah, spam is annoying, but really? Where were you people when wall street ruined the economy, and the government opened an illegal prison in Cuba?
        • by mjwx (966435)

          I find it disappointing that people here are joking about killing a guy who basically annoyed them with some e-mail. Yeah, spam is annoying, but really?

          As a sysadmin, it makes my life hell, I get yelled at and threatened by my boss because he's annoyed at Viagra spam.

          We have to spend thousands on email filtering software, even if the software is free, hundreds of man hours per year are still spent on maintaining it and that is never free. Spam has a real economic cost and a noticeable impact on the liv

        • by SharpFang (651121)

          I've lost some actual money due to spam. Some usenet newsgroups I frequented died due to spam. I lost two email addresses due to spam and admin inflexibility. Not to mention days of my life, when due to a filter failure I had to dig through some 10000 spam messages to get some 5 emails from an obscure account.

          I don't want to kill him. For all the annoyance and grief he caused me, let me, just as a means of revenge, to prick him with a pin, once.
          Then let every person he ever annoyed prick him with a pin, onc

      • I can take action against him. I can act like a dick when I meet him. I can bad mouth him to my friends and family. I can refuse to hire him. There are plenty of legal things I can do to let this person know exactly what I think of them. And I will do that if I have the opportunity. He may have paid his debt to society, but he was still a spammer. Just like I would not necessarily trust a murderer who served 30 years, I wouldn't trust this guy. If he wants folks to trust him, he will have to earn it
      • The VERY LEAST I expect is that, if people commit a crime for profit, that they have to pay back ALL that profit, either to the people they profited from or if that's impossible to some organization that fights against such criminal profiting (or if everything else makes no or little sense, the government, they need money now anyway, why not squeeze it from scumbags instead of us?), AND THEN pay a fine on top of that (either monetary or prison time).

        What we see today more and more (and also in this case) is

        • by Xiph1980 (944189)
          Not so smart. Take away their surplus money and luxury items, but don't saddle them up with an overdue debt. Okay, so you're just out of jail and all you ever knew about making money was through crime. Now Uncle Sam has just placed a huge debt on you, which you have to pay off. How are you going to do that? Sure, you can say, "Well, sucks to be him. Should've thought of that before he committed the crime" but that doesn't mitigate the problem of a criminal who, even if he wants to stay on the righteous tr
  • by ecotax (303198) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:01PM (#35372284)

    Not that I have much sympathy for the man, but he did serve his sentence, sending spam isn't a sex offense, and denying someone internet access is a pretty harsh punishment these days. How about giving him a second chance?

    • by jfengel (409917) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:06PM (#35372358) Homepage Journal

      Ya know, I really, really want to agree with you. Everything you say makes absolute sense.

      And yet, spamming is such a massively and prolifically antisocial thing to do that it's hard to imagine anybody ever recovering from it. He couldn't possibly have been unaware of the fact that, had he accidentally taken a shiv to the ribs while in jail, there would have been widespread cheering. Perhaps guilt-ridden cheering, but cheering nonetheless. Clearly, he didn't care then, and I really don't see how four years in prison would make him care now.

      At the very least, it seems as if there should be some sort of expedited process for prosecution should he return to spamming. Not to deny him due process, but just to place him on a high priority list for investigating. Call it "spammer profiling".

      • by ecotax (303198)

        Ya know, I really, really want to agree with you. Everything you say makes absolute sense.

        And yet, spamming is such a massively and prolifically antisocial thing to do that it's hard to imagine anybody ever recovering from it. He couldn't possibly have been unaware of the fact that, had he accidentally taken a shiv to the ribs while in jail, there would have been widespread cheering. Perhaps guilt-ridden cheering, but cheering nonetheless.

        I'll have to plead guilty here.

        Clearly, he didn't care then, and I really don't see how four years in prison would make him care now.

        At the very least, it seems as if there should be some sort of expedited process for prosecution should he return to spamming. Not to deny him due process, but just to place him on a high priority list for investigating. Call it "spammer profiling".

        Keeping a good eye on him makes sense, and I would be surprised to find out this isn't happening already.
        And of course he knew exactly what he was doing. But spending a few years in prison will certainly have left an impact on him, for better or for worse.

        • by corbettw (214229)

          Keeping a good eye on him makes sense

          Does it though? This was a non-violent offense. Exactly how many resources do we dedicate to tracking non-violent offenders?

      • by jbolden (176878)

        4 years in prison, like most suffering, can do a lot to change a person's attitude. Its much harder to see evils you profit from than those you suffer from.

        • by jfengel (409917)

          I sure hope you're right. It's just that somebody who starts from such a clearly bent perspective (i.e. willing to aggravate literally a billion people to the point of violent rage, or at least talking that way) seems unlikely to learn the intended lesson of the suffering.

          But for everybody's sake, I hope you're right. The actual damage is comparatively small, in the scheme of things, but the collective irritation seems to add up to a heavy emotional toll.

          • by jbolden (176878)

            Look he was a shit. I don't know when you got on the internet but the actual damage was pretty huge. Prior to 1995 we had an internet where everyone trusted one another, machines were mostly open. Protocols like FTP, rsession, telnet... dominated and machines were by today's standards wide open. All sorts of things would be possible if it wasn't for that whole generation of people who violated trust and brought mass crime to the internet.

            That being said, things likely got out of control. He didn't thi

        • I wouldn't be surprised if prison just made him a 'hardened criminal'.

          • by jbolden (176878)

            Then he gets involved in something really serious and does a few decades. The next time around given he was a criminal innovator the judges are going to be feeling a lot different.

          • by Locke2005 (849178)
            Hopefully he came into contact with a few "hardened criminals" while he was bent over in the shower...
        • by Locke2005 (849178)
          Charles Manson has been in jail for 42 years now, so I'm sure he's changed his attitude by now and he's certainly safe to release back into society!
          • by jbolden (176878)

            Charles Manson degenerated in prison the first time. There are exceptions but I think people are capable of getting better. Are you as thoughtless about others as you were 10 years ago or have you grown?

        • You can't change a sociopath's attitude with any amount of prison time. You *might* change their calculated risk/reward judgement.

      • And yet, spamming is such a massively and prolifically antisocial thing to do that it's hard to imagine anybody ever recovering from it. He couldn't possibly have been unaware of the fact that, had he accidentally taken a shiv to the ribs while in jail, there would have been widespread cheering...
        At the very least, it seems as if there should be some sort of expedited process for prosecution should he return to spamming.

        Wow. Just... wow. If you're not joking then I really hope you one day gain a sense of perspective.

        • by jfengel (409917)

          Nope, not joking, and not sure which part you find humorous.

          Expedited prosecution for somebody who has already been proven guilty once doesn't seem unreasonable. I explicitly said that I wasn't talking about violating due process, simply ensuring that the FBI was keeping an eye out (through legal means) rather than waiting for spam complaints to be traced back to him. We know that takes a very long time, and is hard to trace from that end. But if you know where it starts, it may be easier.

          As for the viol

          • Expedited prosecution for somebody who has already been proven guilty once doesn't seem unreasonable.

            It takes resources and manpower. If they're going to do that, save it for violent crimes, first.

            As for the violence against him, I admitted that it's an awful thing to wish violence on somebody.

            It's not the wish, it's the disproportionate justice behind that wish that's disturbing. *Stab* *Stab* "The sun is out, the flowers are in bloom, and my inbox has fewer things in it!"

      • You mean like the judge blasting him with 11 trillion 1 day sentences?

        • by jfengel (409917)

          I'd settle for 11 trillion millisecond sentences, served consecutively.

        • by Dan93 (222999)
          Even 11 trillion minutes in prison would be enough. And fair to boot, since it be send him to prison equal to the amount of time wasted by other people deleting said spam.
      • spamming is such a massively and prolifically antisocial thing to do that it's hard to imagine anybody ever recovering from it.

        Seriously? What he did may have been annoying (and in some cases, fairly bad), but it wasn't that bad (at least, I don't think so). There's no reason to think that he won't change compared to other 'criminals'.

    • He is having it right now.
    • Spam deprives us all of internet access. Sure, the costs are more spread out, but spammers steal more time and money from other people's lives than a hundred life sentences could equal. Spammers are sociopaths, pure and simple.

      He'll probably get a job in finance.
      • by ecotax (303198)

        Assuming you're right that he's a sociopath, that in itself does not justify punishment - only the typically resulting behaviour does (except in the financial industry, where it earns you a nice bonus, of course).

        • by corbettw (214229)

          only the typically resulting behaviour does (except in the financial industry, where it earns you a nice bonus, of course).

          Or Congress, where it gets you a committee chair.

      • by socsoc (1116769)
        thank you for that logic
    • by dadioflex (854298) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:17PM (#35372490)

      Not that I have much sympathy for the man, but he did serve his sentence, sending spam isn't a sex offense, and denying someone internet access is a pretty harsh punishment these days. How about giving him a second chance?

      I agree. To err is human, to forgive divine. Besides, if he's denied a legitimate job, what's he gonna do?

    • by cdrudge (68377)

      If he wants a second chance, all he has to do is click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of all the harassing emails he will receive. He'll then be removed from the mailing list in 7-10 business days.

    • by The Archon V2.0 (782634) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:27PM (#35372638)

      sending spam isn't a sex offense

      Hell, these days sex offenses aren't sex offenses half the time, they're stupid teenagers [msn.com] that some prosecutor wants to make an example of.

      • by Stradenko (160417)

        Or other totally ridiculous stuff [reason.com].

        The real issue I have with the GP is the idea that spammers are reformed by jail time, but sex offenders aren't.

        • by ecotax (303198)

          The real issue I have with the GP is the idea that spammers are reformed by jail time, but sex offenders aren't.

          I was a bit too terse to be clear I guess, but what I meant to say is that suggesting that something like Megan's Law should be applied in this case doesn't make senseto me - not that sex offenders can't possibly be reformed by jail time.

      • Or political expediency (is a possibility) in Assange's case.

    • by socsoc (1116769)
      This isn't a lapse of judgment. He willfully cost a lot of people a lot of money. He's pretty low on the second chance list.
    • I was one of about four people who kept a log a Mr Soloway's activities. Before fbi went msm in regard to Robert.

      There is at least one web page dedicated to him and not just mentions, but domain names, ip's, court docs in pdf, etc I do hope he has reformed,his amazon book list (since deleted) would indicate no remorse or whatever you americans call it. I have those alleged wishlist books of his stored and there not Charles Dickens titles.

      Sweden (where he has dual nationality) also should also be concerned.

  • Idiots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:05PM (#35372332)

    > I sure hope any potential employers google "Robert Soloway" and find "Spam king" high on the results list.

    Why? What will this guy do when he can't find a job and needs money? This stupid sentiment that criminals should suffer forever is actually creating crime...

    • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SargentDU (1161355) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:13PM (#35372446)
      You have hit the nail on the head. Those who have been found guilty of sex crimes are particularly marred for life. I know a guy that was 18 with a 17 yo girlfriend, her Dad did not like the boy, and got him labeled a sex offender. He cannot get rid of the stigma and he is now in his late 40's.
      • by jbolden (176878)

        Well there are statutes that allow you to expunge your record. He sounds like a perfect case. Most states now have a multi year split required to avoid this sort of thing.

      • I'm not sure of the logic of that one. In crimes for money, like spamming, or robbery, then one can see that the ex-con having a job after the jail time will lessen the likelihood of reoffending.

        With sex-crimes its less clear cut. People want to have sex, and if the preferred object of that sex is illegal, then people tend to pursue it regardless of their employment status.

        I'd like to see some evidence of recidivism rates with/without employment in these two categories of crimes before deciding whether or n

    • Don't you know? Jail is supposed to last forever. Criminals should never actually go free. Jail is a black hole where we toss people we do not like.
      • Jail is a black hole where we toss people we do not like.

        We thought that was called "Australia".

        Sincerely, England - 1871

    • by clampolo (1159617)
      I agree that he should be forgiven once he has made amends. So after he has visited every person that he sent spam to and begged for their forgiveness, he should be left in peace.
    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      I would expect ethical behavior from any employee of mine. While spamming isn't illegal, it is pretty unethical. As an employer in the computer industry, I would likely not consider this person or any one who has worked at a spam related company. Ethical behavior is pretty high on most employers list of expected behavior, in part because it can adversely affect the company itself.

      The problem with not being ethical is that he didn't think it was wrong. I'd hope that he learned that spamming wasn't ethical wh

      • A different perspective if you'll indulge:

        This guy was the "Spam King". Literally the king of a new form of incredibly low cost high volume advertising. He pioneered it. He made it happen. From a business development or marketing perspective I might be very interested in bringing that kind of person into my organization.

        • I don't agree with spamming and it doesn't prevent me from seeing that you are absolutely right. The guy will get hired* for the same reason notorious black hats and gray hats get hired:

          He's good at what he did, and the employer's bottom line would be fattened up because someone known as 'The King' must have made some good profit. So thieves can make alliances when the goal is stolen cash. Even white hats might hire him to help "harden" their systems against his own old and new 'intellectual property.'

          * ass

      • by v1 (525388)

        The problem with not being ethical is that he didn't think it was wrong.

        Chances are very near zero he didn't realize it was wrong/illegal. He just thought the rewards were worth the risks. He may still have millions in foreign accounts, and may still consider it having been worth the risk in retrospect.

        And now not only has he learned some lessons on what got him caught, but he also likely has a good deal of startup capital for his next "business venture", or at the very least a nice retirement nest egg.

        The

      • by ScentCone (795499)

        While spamming isn't illegal, it is pretty unethical

        Actually, depending on a few variables, it's almost always both.

    • Yeah, nerds have strange priorities. The guy sent a shitload of annoying mails. Sure, you can make up some meaningless aggregate number for the damage he did, but if you cost each person in the world $.01 you've suddenly done (OH NOES!!!) ~$50M in damages. It's a bullshit metric.

      His sentence was appropriate, he served it, and he's out. He didn't murder a child or rape an old man or something like that. Grow up, nerds. Spam isn't the worst thing in the world.

      • by vlueboy (1799360)
        Suppose Joe Q User got a high n < 50 emails from Spammer King per day. A few cents a day in 'damage recovery' won't be worth suing for when courts/lawyers charge in the thousands, and he's not the one paying for bayesian algorithm research and footing the power / maintenance bills for monthly SPAM filtering appliances.

        WebMail providers and ISPs are the only parties that could USE your so-dubbed 'BS metric' to litigate any useful net values in the high Millions of dollars for millions of filtered email
  • by bobdotorg (598873) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:05PM (#35372344)

    FTFA:

    As part of his plea deal, probation officers will monitor every e-mail Soloway sends and every webpage he visits for the next three years.

    Oh how I would torture them...

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:07PM (#35372368) Homepage

    In general, the libertarian-leaning Slashdot population is quick to criticize the Megan's laws. But now that it is about something important... SPAM! ... well, those principles all go out the window, huh?

    Those laws:
    - Do not work.
    - Are likely unconstitutional.
    - If the likelihood of recidivism is that high, the person should not be released anyway.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mcmonkey (96054)

      In general, the libertarian-leaning Slashdot population is quick to criticize the Megan's laws. But now that it is about something important... SPAM! ... well, those principles all go out the window, huh?

      That, and if he could throw/catch/kick a ball/puck/quaffle not only would all be forgiven, but folks would be fighting over a chance to give him a job.

    • by fishexe (168879)

      In general, the libertarian-leaning Slashdot population is quick to criticize the Megan's laws. But now that it is about something important... SPAM! ... well, those principles all go out the window, huh?

      Perhaps the Slashdotters criticizing Megan's laws and the Slashdotters advocating them for spammers are different people with different viewpoints. Our community is neither monolithic nor uniform, we don't all speak with one voice.

  • I sure hope any potential employers google "Robert Soloway" and find "Spam king" high on the results list.

    I don't know if that's a good idea. If you take someone who has shown he's willing to commit crimes and make it impossible for him to earn a living legitimately, then what ways does that leave him to earn one?

    ~Loyal

  • Dear neighbour,

    I have recently been in prison for spamming. As part of my rehabilitation I am required to contact you and inform you of my crime. If you can spare as little as one dollar please make your tax decutable donation out to "Spammers rehabilitation. 45 LaughingAllTheWayToTheBank Street, Idiotsville". From time to time I'll be contacting you to let you know about similar opportunities as well as a host of unbeatable specials for valuable goods like viagra. My friends from Nigeria will be contacting

    • by Thud457 (234763)

      Why it's the AT-5000 Auto-Dialer. My very first patent.
      Aw, would you listen to the gibberish they've got you saying, it's sad and alarming. You were designed to alert schoolchildren about snow days and such.

  • I still can't believe this guys was given four years for doing the same thing that companies do to my snail-mailbox everyday. Laws should not be based on what medium was used to perform an action; they should be based on the actions themselves. Either outlaw electronic junk mail and snail-mail junk mail or don't do anything at all. Doing the former only serves to corrupt the law.

    • by jbolden (176878) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:28PM (#35372648) Homepage

      With junk mail:

      -- you pay for the paper
      -- you pay for the printing
      -- you pay for the fulfillment
      -- you pay for the postage

      You as the sender have a strong incentive to not be wasteful. That's not at all the same as spam.

      • As a recipient:

        I pay for the trash bags to put the junk mail in
        I pay for the trash service to take the junk mail away
        I pay with my time having to sift through the junk mail to make sure my real mail hasn't been inserted into it
        I pay in time when I have to track down a bill that's been thrown away when it's stuff into junk mail

        Regarding hijacking servers, that's illegal and it focuses on a specific action. Charge him with hijacking a server.

        The fact is, as one another person posted, the reason junk-snail mai

        • by jbolden (176878)

          Your costs associated with junk mail you receive, pale in comparison to costs for senders. That's the point. They have an incentive not to be wasteful.

          And of course it is about economic costs. All crimes are about net cost to society.

      • So basically you're saying that this guy went to jail because he was wasteful and not because of the effect his practices had on the recipients?

        • by jbolden (176878)

          No I'm saying there is a huge difference in terms of costs to society with spam and junkmail. With junkmail senders (advertisers) are much more careful because they spend more per pair of eyeballs. That additional spend creates a presumption that you are not being wasteful. With spam the cost was so close to 0 that the spend didn't act as a natural constraint and so artificial costs, i.e. the criminal justice system needed to be introduced.

    • Snail-mail spam is paid for, by the companies sending out said mail. Spammers don't, they hijack.

  • by Tubal-Cain (1289912) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:19PM (#35372518) Journal
    First Microsoft, now the Spam King. It is clear: the world's IT evil is gathering together in Washington. War is coming.
  • by rhizome (115711) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:23PM (#35372578) Homepage Journal

    Do we forget about Sanford Wallace so soon?

  • by jIyajbe (662197) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:28PM (#35372652)

    I sure hope any potential employers google "Robert Soloway" and find "Spam king" high on the results list.

    The only way that could happen is if a bunch of people all put the words "Robert Soloway" and "Spam king" together on a major website that Google crawls.

    Doesn't seem likely...

  • by digitalsushi (137809) <slashdot@digitalsushi.com> on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:28PM (#35372674) Journal

    Cause someone sending out spams is equivalent to raping children.

    (Actually, most people on the Megan's Law list are folks who got caught peeing behind a bar -- er, exposed themselves to children who live in ally ways.)

  • by Brainless (18015) on Thursday March 03, 2011 @04:43PM (#35372836)

    I'm not the author, but was involved in this bit. Spammer was sent to prison, escapes and killed himself and his family.

    http://wildernessvagabonds.com/zp/index.php?p=news&title=Daily-Writing-The-Spam-King-Tragedy

  • You know he'll do it again if - when - he decides he can get away with it. $20,000 per day trumps ethics for anyone but the Pope... and maybe not even him.

  • All his neighbors? You mean everyone on the Internet? World's way smaller when your definition of harm (e.g. spam) can be accomplished without leaving home.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

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