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Whatever Happened To Sanford "Spamford" Wallace? 45

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dj-master-spam dept.
Tackhead writes "People of a certain age — the age before email filters were effective, may remember a few mid-90s buzzwords like 'bulletproof hosting' and 'double opt-in.' People may remember that Hormel itself conceded that although 'SPAM' referred to their potted meat product, the term 'spam' could refer to unsolicited commercial email. People may also remember AGIS, Cyberpromo, Sanford 'Spam King' Wallace, and Walt Rines. Ten years after a 2003 retrospective on Rines and Wallace, Ars Technica reminds us that the more things change, the more they stay the same."
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Whatever Happened To Sanford "Spamford" Wallace?

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  • ytcracker (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ytcracker may not be a household name, or as well known known as Wallace, but he is the undisputed spam rap king. If ytc taught me anything, it is that every time a spammer is taken down, there are plenty more ready to take his place. The fact is that, even today, spam pays. Until people suddenly wisen up and stop falling for scams and stop being receptive to advertising in general, there will continue to be spam. Spam pays, folks, and leads to hacking.

    Number one thing most spammers are most excited abou
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Arker (91948)

      "Until people suddenly wisen up and stop falling for scams and stop being receptive to advertising in general, there will continue to be spam."

      Insightful comment. The spammers, revolting subhumans though they are, are simply a symptom of the real problem. And the big "legitimate" marketing companies are signs of the same problem. A sane person would go out of their way to avoid purchasing anything that they saw advertised, and if a significant percentage of the population were sane advertising and marketing

      • Insightful comment. The spammers, revolting subhumans though they are, are simply a symptom of the real problem. And the big "legitimate" marketing companies are signs of the same problem. A sane person would go out of their way to avoid purchasing anything that they saw advertised, and if a significant percentage of the population were sane advertising and marketing would be dead, and all the people currently stuck in those soul-leeching jobs could become productive members of the economy instead.

        This article really brings back memories. I remember this douche from so many years back. He is one of the few internet "celebrities" that I can remember from 10 and 15 years ago.

        I said this years ago, and I still believe its true now, you will never kill off the spamers as long as the market is there. No matter what laws you pass, or how much you fine them there will always be some willing to take the risk. There is just to much money there, it's like drug dealers. As long as there is money to be

  • by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @12:31PM (#45782235) Homepage

    He's in debt to the courts for millions, fails to show up for his court appearances and has repeatedly returned to a life of crime. It's not even as if his lawyer is getting him off. He's a continual recidivist and shows no intention of reforming his ways. Even if the cases themselves were merely civil disputes, his failure to live up his court-ordered responsibilities should have consequences.

    Why isn't this jackass in jail yet? He's far more deserving than some poor punk who had the bad luck to get caught with a baggie of pot in his pocket.

    • by Tom (822) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @12:52PM (#45782319) Homepage Journal

      Because our justice system has turned from protecting the public good and society in general towards protecting individual property and particular interest laws.

      That's why you can spam millions of people for years (do the math, even at half a second per mail, that's quite a few wasted lifetimes) and get a slap on the wrist ($4 mio? if he weren't a fool that would've been pocket change for an Internet criminal - see Kimble).

      But copy a few MP3s and you're down for your life savings. Have a bit of pot on you and off to jail.

      It's an entirely different tragedy of the commons - the justice system utterly fails to protect the public at large from deaths by a million cuts, i.e. by small offenses that multiply into the thousands and millions.

      • by Arker (91948)

        "Because our justice system has turned from protecting the public good and society in general towards protecting individual property and particular interest laws."

        While I agree with the rest of what you said that is just plain wrong. Protecting private property is the mission here, it's a crucial part of protecting the public good. And that is exactly where the system has failed. Spam is theft by conversion, and adequately dealt with under common law, but instead of leaving well enough alone, the legislatu

        • by Tom (822)

          We mean the same thing.

          Of course e-mail spam deprives me of use of my private property. But the damage is too small for an individual case to matter. The real damage is on the whole-society level, when you add up the millions of seconds.

          It's the commons - the part of society that we all share. Like our communications ability or public spaces.

          • by Arker (91948)

            "But the damage is too small for an individual case to matter. "

            I dont agree that is *always* true first off, and in the cases where it is, that's why we have something called a class-action suit. You can pool the damages to millions of people and sue together.

            • by Tom (822)

              Again, that is not a legal statement. Of course you can sue someone for a cent. But almost nobody bothers to actually do that. Which is why something like a government was invented so things that are too small or too big for individuals to worry about can be handled collectively.

          • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

            by benjfowler (239527)

            You've hit the nail on the head. America is culturally incapable of even thinking about how to deal with acting collectively on anything; then it doesn't surprise me in the least that it would find it difficult to jail anybody for massive crimes, committed against everyone collectively.

            Here, the problem manifests itself in the US' comical, insane inability to jail SPAMford. The same could be set for the evil criminals on Wall Street who crashed the economy in 2008 and continue to get away with murder.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @01:24PM (#45782421)

      Why isn't this jackass in jail yet? He's far more deserving than some poor punk who had the bad luck to get caught with a baggie of pot in his pocket.

      You seem to be misunderstanding: A failed businessman is much less of a problem than a failed worker. Smoking pot = less productivity. That's why we throw him in jail for years at a go, whereas the failed businessman at least was making an attempt to improve the glory of our lord and savior, the Dollar. I only wish this statement was entirely sarcastic, instead of merely mostly. :(

    • by mysidia (191772)

      He's in debt to the courts for millions, fails to show up for his court appearances and has repeatedly returned to a life of crime.

      Because he posted bail on the criminal contempt charge.

    • He is obviously a fucking idiot and a slow learner. People like him need straightening out with intensive help; jail as it's currently done will be useless. Spamming is the only thing he knows and he'll be up to his old tricks, seconds after getting out of prison.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nuonguy (264254)

        Who is the slow learner here, him or the legal system that failed at prosecuting him? He recognised a (criminal) opportunity before everyone else and has the wits to stay out of jail. Crime doesn't pay unless you do it well.

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @01:41PM (#45782507)

    I saw a movie with that title once, but (to my surprise) it wasn't about Email...

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday December 25, 2013 @03:04PM (#45782929)

    Lawyers going after money rather than the culprit. Some guy spends one minute in a coordinated DDoS attack and he gets jail time. This guy runs around free because the Lawyers thought that hitting his pocket book would matter but what they didn't realize is this guy has no concept of saving any money, he spends it and pisses it away on gambling so when they come to collect, his pockets are empty. In the meantime he cranks up the old routines to get more money to spend.

    I do have to say one thing, it's great to see a guy make the Feds go in loops. We all believe that the Criminal Justice system is this fair system that only punishes the truly guilty. Yeah we want to believe it but if you're on the wrong side of that system without representation and money you're just gear lube for the the machine. This guy without a lawyer has the Feds running around trying to get money that doesn't exist, all the while playing the dumb fool. In the end he's nobody's fool.

    • by Herkum01 (592704)
      I am surprised that the IRS has not gone after him for tax evasion. Being stupid for not paying taxes will still get you sent to jail really quick.
  • The statement of "before email filters were effective" is delirious at best. Filters will never, in the long term, be an effective anti-spam tool. All that filters do is drive spammers to change their syntax to make spam look less spammy so that they can get past filters. This creates a digital arms race then as people who use filters have to keep re-training their filters in reaction. This wastes, time, energy, and money.

    Even worse, as time goes on the signal-to-noise ratio only gets worse as spammers get more creative and do a better job of sending spam that resembles wanted commercial email.

    If you want to actually do something about the spam epidemic, don't fool yourself into thinking that your filters will do it. Spam is an economic problem, it needs economic solutions. Filters do not accomplish this.
    • The statement of "before email filters were effective" is delirious at best. Filters will never, in the long term, be an effective anti-spam tool.

      Filters where a band aid at best. It seems to me that filters themselves have went along way toward making email next to useless as a communication tool.

      In the old days I used to send a nice email to my friends and family but now filters have practically made that useless. Filters also have negated the purpose of a junk mail folder. The idea for that was that filters would throw crap in there and I could delete it with out concern.

      Well now my email is so heavily filtered I have to root through it

    • by ClintJCL (264898)
      My gmail account begs to differ. I get 3 in my inbox per week, max. That's not a problem anymore, like with 99/100 emails being spam in the 1990s. It's a slight nuisance. And I'm a total fucking slut about where where I post my email address ( clintjcl@gmail.com ).
      • You have missed the point entirely. Filters might prevent you from reading spam, but they don't prevent it from being sent. Even more so, they don't prevent it from costing money. Sure you may use gmail as a "free" email service but someone has to pay for the power consumed by the servers running the filters. Someone has to pay the engineers who train those filters. Someone has to pay for the hard drives that store your mail to be processed by the filters (including the mail that sits in the spam quara
  • ...in a shallow grave in the Mojave desert?

    He seems like he's the kind of archetypal low-rent scam artist with a gambling habit who thinks that because he can walk away from corporate civil judgements he can get away with anything.

    Maybe I've seen too many movies, but Las Vegas seems like the place guys like this go only to find out that there's a difference between civil suits and guys in sharkskin suits, and the latter is more than willing to use extrajudicial means to recover their debts.

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