Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Spam Government The Courts The Internet News

"Spam King" Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court 238

Monty writes "It looks like 'Spam King' Adam Vitale has finally plead guilty to violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 in federal court in New York City. 'The indictment said that in less than a week in August 2005, Vitale and Moeller sent e-mails on behalf of the informant to more than 1,277,000 addresses of subscribers at AOL, the online division of Time Warner Inc. Vitale will be sentenced on September 13 when he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison. Moeller, who lives in New Jersey, faces the same charge.' We discussed Vitale's arrest back in February."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

"Spam King" Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

Comments Filter:
  • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:15AM (#19477329) Homepage
    So he was guilty. Given the amount of money he amassed spamming, my guess would be he gets 1 year at most and then some probation. Money makes the judicial system go round in this country.
    • by packetmon ( 977047 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:28AM (#19477487) Homepage
      There is a set of guidelines a judge HAS to follow in order for sentencing its called a presentence report. A bunch of information is thrown together, weighed and based on that information along with the charges, the sentence is made. For example, did culprit cooperate, is his family life stable (not kidding), his prior history if any. More than likely he will do no less than 30 months unless they seek to make an example of him. Even then, they still have to follow the guidelines but a judge can impose anything a judge sees fit. His lawyers can counter and vice versa then go through appeals. So contrary to what some may like to believe about getting a slap on the wrist, the process is deeper than most know or care to know....

      (d) Presentence Report.
      • (1) Applying the Sentencing Guidelines. The presentence report must:
        • (A) identify all applicable guidelines and policy statements of the Sentencing Commission;
        • (B) calculate the defendant's offense level and criminal history category;
        • (C) state the resulting sentencing range and kinds of sentences available;
        • (D) identify any factor relevant to:
          • (i) the appropriate kind of sentence, or
          • (ii) the appropriate sentence within the applicable sentencing range; and
        • (E) identify any basis for departing from the applicable sentencing range. (2) Additional Information. The presentence report must also contain the following information:
          • (A) the defendant's history and characteristics, including:
          • (i) any prior criminal record;
          • (ii) the defendant's financial condition; and
          • (iii) any circumstances affecting the defendant's behavior that may be helpful in imposing sentence or in correctional treatment;
        • (B) verified information, stated in a nonargumentative style, that assesses the financial, social, psychological, and medical impact on any individual against whom the offense has been committed;
        • (C) when appropriate, the nature and extent of nonprison programs and resources available to the defendant;
        • (D) when the law provides for restitution, information sufficient for a restitution order;
        • (E) if the court orders a study under 18 U.S.C. 3552 (b), any resulting report and recommendation; and
        • (F) any other information that the court requires.

      Cornell [cornell.edu]
      • I'm hip to the presentence report but I've also personally seen a judge defying the recommendation of the report entirely. In this case it was for the worse, he recommended jail time instead of the recommended probation, but it apparently happens a lot.
    • by hobo sapiens ( 893427 ) <PASCAL minus language> on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:51AM (#19477759) Journal
      Then maybe the right punishment is that he has to pay back the money he "earned" or go broke, and of course he'll go broke. Prisons are full enough, and there are much worse people to send there. Make him go broke and then do some community service. Seems like sending him to jail is a bit draconian.

      Plus, I can think of a few things he could do for community service:
      1) since people once referred to the net as the info superhighway, make him the highway dept's official roadkill scraper for a few years
      2) make him clean out some tubes...that's right, get them sewers real clean, boy!
      3) let him go work at a nursing home where they give the old men free v!agr4 -- while dressed up as the girl from St Pauli Girl beer bottles. Ouch!
      4) he has to clean all the restrooms in NYC's entire subway system.

      Cruel? Unusual? Yes! Fitting? Yes!
    • by CharlieG ( 34950 )
      No probation in Federal Prision...

    • by queenb**ch ( 446380 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @12:34PM (#19479077) Homepage Journal
      Hah! He'll be in the cell next to Paris Hilton because it's currently seen as a "victimless" crime. What they don't realize is the wide reaching impact that this has. Most people in the country work for small to medium sized businesses. These are the employers that are hardest hit by this. Email infrastructures are melting down under the load. This means that companies are spending dollars on deploying spam filtering software, hardware, more bandwidth, etc. to deal with the problems. This is money that could be better used to hire employees, pursue R&D, improve their facility, etc. In the long run it siphons resources away from the rest of the operating budget. It's like a leech or a tapeworm.

      2 cents,

      QueenB.
  • by djupedal ( 584558 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:18AM (#19477353)
    "...he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison."

    He may want to ask for more years and just stay in - If I run into him on the street...well, let's just say he will need more than self-healing plastic skin to hold him together until he can be put out of his misery by Kevorkian.
  • Yay! (Score:5, Funny)

    by apachetoolbox ( 456499 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:19AM (#19477355) Homepage
    CAN-SPAM Act: 1
    Spammers: 1,305,931,426,569
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by strider1551 ( 967504 )
      Am I reading this right? There are more spammers than humans?! I mean, hell, how do you legally stop aliens from spamming?
      • He was maybe trying to say:
        • CAN-SPAM Act: 1 action won
        • Spammers: 1,305,931,426,569 spams sent
  • 5 Minutes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:20AM (#19477373) Homepage
    1,277,000 addresses of subscribers at AOL ... faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison

    Maximum of five minutes in prison for each of the people he spammed. Seems a little light.
    • by AltGrendel ( 175092 ) <ag-slashdot&exit0,us> on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:37AM (#19477609) Homepage
      Maximum of five minutes in prison for each of the people he spammed. Seems a little light.

      Well, talk to the judge, maybe he'll give you have your five minutes alone with Vitale and let you to bring your own baseball bat.

    • In all seriousness, though...11 years?

      Of course he won't serve that. And of course, spam is bad. But 11 years?

      Who was harmed in the process of his sending spam? How many people did he physically hurt? Even, how much money did he take from people? Ok, so the spam consumed bandwidth and wasted people's time. And he gets 11 years for that? Seems a little inappropriate given the crime, don't you think?

      I could a large fine, community service, and a year in prison. But, sheesh! A manslaughter charge won'
      • Killing a person rarely costs people collectively millions of dollars to manage the digital puke of scamvertising that is spam.

        Now, if the was convicted on spamming 1 million or so email addresses, I doubt that caused enough financial damage to warrant 11 years. Clearly an example is being made of him.

        Not that I mind in any way.
      • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:53AM (#19477781)

        Who was harmed in the process of his sending spam?

        Anyone who has ever had to swap a hard-drive out of a mailserver due to increased wear or disk space requirements, or upgrade a data pipe to the next size up, has been financially harmed by spammers. And if you slipped with the screwdriver and injured yourself while undertaking this otherwise unnecessary work.... It is not the victimless crime that supporters of spam like to make out.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          "It is not the victimless crime that supporters of spam like to make out."
          I hope you aren't putting words in my mouth.

          As for the rest of your post, you've gotta be kidding. As I said, spam is bad and nasty. I never said he didn't hurt anyone. I said he didn't physically hurt anyone. Financial restitution is in order.

          Maybe some jail time is in order. I mean, the punishment seems a little excessive. But as another poster replied to me, they are making an example out of him. That's the only thing I can
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Battle_Ratt ( 524562 )
            What is missing from this thread is the other half of the quote.
            "The indictment said that in less than a week..."
            So how much spam did he send in a year? Billions very likely.
            Now this set of charges is only about the activity during that specific week, however take into account just how many years of others peoples lives he has taken, 30 seconds at a time.

            11 years doesn't even come close even Steven payback.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by gatesvp ( 957062 )

            I mean, the punishment seems a little excessive.

            OK I'll bite, what punishment? He hasn't been sentenced yet that doesn't happen until September 13. For maximum sentences to be doled out, the convict has to either "be an example" or have a whole bunch of things working against them (related crimes, etc). So he's probably not getting the maximum sentence.

            Next you say: I am not defending him. and then follow it up with several questions that undermine any form of harsh sentencing by using subtly applying

          • by Mister Whirly ( 964219 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @12:42PM (#19479185) Homepage
            Say I fraud you out of your entire life savings. I haven't physically harmed you either, but your life is totally devastated... What should be the punishment for that - 6 months? Do you know how many millions of dollars Spammers waste every year just by doing their "relatively innocuous" crimes? I'm not saying we should hang him or anything, but to me 10 years doesn't seem excessive for a white collar crime of this magnitude. I would offer him a deal though - stay offline for 10 years and only do a year in prison. If caught online for any purpose, back to the federal prison for 20 years...

            If judges keep letting Spammers get off light, without ever setting a heavy-handed precedent, why would they ever even consider stopping the SPAM?? Sometimes a little scare is good.
            • "I would offer him a deal though - stay offline for 10 years and only do a year in prison. If caught online for any purpose, back to the federal prison for 20 years..."
              That's actually a very good and fitting punishment; if only it weren't almost unenforcable. Even if that's not possible, the guy should definitely do some restitution, even if he goes broke in the process. The guy does not deserve the lifestyle he obtained from his ill-gotten gains. This guy should be bankrupted and forced to earn a living
          • by crucini ( 98210 )

            But as another poster replied to me, they are making an example out of him.

            I'd say that setting an example is always a goal of criminal sentencing. But in this case, there is no sentence yet. The max is 11 years.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sobrique ( 543255 )
          Lets not be forgetting the deeply sick proportion of the bandwidth of the world that's taken up by spam. ISTR it was somewhere around the 1/3rd of all internet traffic mark. That's one hell of a lot of bandwidth wasted. Bandwidth that's not cheap at all, especially when you start talking about transatlantic communications.

          Or perhaps the collective time of the people involved to filter out the incoming junk. I see at least 1000 per month caught by my filter. A filter that _used_ to be entirely unnecessary.

      • Are we that out of whack that you get more time for spam than for killing someone?

        Yes. In some cases, drug dealers can spend decades in prison --- even for a single instance of selling a few hits of LSD to an undercover cop. Personally, I'm against incarceration. Prisons don't rehabilitate people.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Eagleartoo ( 849045 )
          Prisons aren't meant to rehabilitate, they are meant to punish. Like AlcAnon Members know, you can only rehabilitate yourself, no one can do it for you. Prison should be a shitty place so that people who end up their want to reform their ways.
          • What is the purpose of punishment? If it serves to keep people from behaving badly, then that is rehabilitation. Otherwise, it serves no purpose other than to indulge in sadistic behavior --- which makes the punisher no better than the punished.
            • It's called retribution. Someone does something bad to you, you get revenge. Anyway, when did we start feeling sorry for criminals? Let them rot, no-one forced them to commit crimes.
              • So, you agree that it's all about that good feeling you get inside when you see someone suffer. Nice. Clearly, we are evolving as a species.
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by drsquare ( 530038 )
                  If you don't think wrongdoing should be punished, then you are not a human being. Obviously you're a more evolved, emotionless, mature person who can take all sorts of suffering at the hands of criminal scum and just turn the other cheek. Or maybe you've just never been the victim of crime and are speaking from a perch.
            • What is the purpose of punishment? If it serves to keep people from behaving badly, then that is rehabilitation. Otherwise, it serves no purpose other than to indulge in sadistic behavior --- which makes the punisher no better than the punished.

              It serves to disincent others who may be weighing the odds of committing similar acts.

              But then, you already knew that, perhaps on one of your more honest days.

              • Wow... that really seems to have worked. See: illegal drug use/distribution, prostitution, illegal gambling, copyright violation, spamming --- all of which have nearly vanished due to fear of being caught and punished.
                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by inviolet ( 797804 )

                  Wow... that really seems to have worked. See: illegal drug use/distribution, prostitution, illegal gambling, copyright violation, spamming --- all of which have nearly vanished due to fear of being caught and punished.

                  You've hand-picked a combination of laws which are all either illegitimate (e.g. vice laws) or brand new (spamming, copyright) in order to make your point. I'm not impressed. It's only natural and proper that vice laws get flaunted (but even then, you'll observe that the fear of punishment

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I'm against incarceration. Prisons don't rehabilitate people.

          I agree, though at the same time it's not necessarily the job of the government to rehabilitate people (and I'd be skeptical about what they would rehabilitate people into if they did). The idea of prison is to keep people from harming others in society. For someone like a spammer, locking them up while keeping them from harming others could be done in much better ways. Simply keeping him away from computers for X years would be more appropriate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
        I'm not in favour of prisons in general (with the exception of a few sociopaths who can't be rehabilitated and would be a danger to the public if released), but it doesn't seem like too much time. 11 years, is 4015 days, or 5,781,600 minutes. He spammed 1,277,000 people. That works out at 4.5 minutes per person.

        I would be willing to bet he sent at least ten spams to each person, which works out at 27 minutes in prison per spam. If it takes 2-3 seconds to check if an email is spam, then the prison sente

      • by feepcreature ( 623518 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @11:04AM (#19477887) Homepage
        11 years - sure he deserves it. He and his ilk between them have all but destroyed usenet, and made the email system vastly less useful to society as a whole. Email has gone from an almost-always works system to one where messages are very likely to be buried in a flood of spam, or automatically deleted by imperfect spam filters.

        That deserves to be punished.

        • "messages are very likely to be buried in a flood of spam, or automatically deleted by imperfect spam filters."
          Maybe. I dunno. I never get any spam in my gmail address, which I use for all online activities. My sbcglobal address (AT&T DSL, cobranded with yahoo) never gets ANY spam...oh wait, I stand corrected, I got one last year.

          Not justifying his actions, just saying (once again) that prison time seems draconian. Surely there are more fitting punishments.

        • by dave420 ( 699308 )
          Yeah! 'Cos now when I send an email, the recipient gets AIDS. It's terrible! I once sent an email to my mother, and all that happened was poisonous spiders of every description sprang forth, speaking German, and trying to annexe the computer room! The humanity!

          Punish it, definitely. Really destroy a life because of people being inconvenienced? Definitely not. Proportional sentencing 11 years is not.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by yorugua ( 697900 )

            Punish it, definitely. Really destroy a life because of people being inconvenienced? Definitely not. Proportional sentencing 11 years is not

            I guess a few factors must be considered:

            a) As spam (and the act of spamming) cost almost nothing, so if it is so "ok", then it could get much worse if unchecked. So, as we can not add much cost to bandwidth, the problem is that it might land you in jail. That's the spammer "cost" or "risk". Basically, why would be a requirement for me or my employer that I must gi

      • A maximum of 11 years is just that, a maximum. It's up to the legal system to decide just how severely to punish him.

        Much as I hate to roll out the "think of the children" line... Some spam (I am not at all familiar with this case so I have no idea what they were mailing out) is downright pornographic in nature. If they're just blasting it out to random addresses what are the odds that it reached minors? What are the normal charges for exposing a minor to pornography?

        Then you have to wonder how many imp
      • A manslaughter charge won't get you 11 years. Are we that out of whack that you get more time for spam than for killing someone?

        Makes sense if you consider aggregate suffering. Manslaughter causes great grief to a small group of friends and family. A spam email causes small grief, but to millions. I'm opposed to capital punishment, but mass murder, sadistic murder, and spam all keep me reassessing that position.

    • by neoform ( 551705 )
      I hate spam as much as the next guy, but 11 years in prison is too much, that's a murder's sentence..

      If anything, the courts should put him in jail for a few years, take away all the money he's made and make sure he's never allowed near a computer again.

      That would seem more fitting.
      • I hate spam as much as the next guy, but 11 years in prison is too much, that's a murder's sentence..

        No its not. Its more like "I sold pot to a consenting adult."

        The average sentence for a state crime is 4.5 years. [usdoj.gov] 11 is the max here, he'll get less than half and get out in less than 2 years.
    • Maximum of five minutes in prison for each of the people he spammed. Seems a little light.
      It all evens out, assuming it didn't take any of those victims more than five minutes to press "delete" on a single email.

      (must.. not.. resurrect.. stale.. AOLer.. jokes..)
  • by moehoward ( 668736 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:24AM (#19477441)

    There sure are a lot of guys who get the title Spam King. Can't we get more creative with these titles? Spam Lord. Spam Queen. Spam Prime Minister. Spam Court Jester. I'd prefer more Batman-style evil nemesis names like "The Green Viagra" or something.

    I mean, who votes for these Kings? I didn't vote for him!
    • by TheWoozle ( 984500 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:32AM (#19477531)
      Pfft. You can't expect to wield supreme executive power based on a vote! Everyone knows that kings are chosen by women distributing swords in a farcical aquatic ceremony. If I said I had been elected Emperor by means of popular vote, they'd put me away!
    • Not to be over-pedantic, but "The Green Viagra" sounds more Spiderman-style.
    • Or Hell, how about Spam Czar? Then you could have Spam Tsars, csars, tzar, zar, not to mention all the czarinas... It'd be like having a bunch of kings, we'd just differentiate by spelling.
    • by uradu ( 10768 )
      > I mean, who votes for these Kings? I didn't vote for him!

      Ok, that demands an obligatory Holy Grail quote:

      King Arthur: You don't vote for kings.
      moehoward: Well how'd you become king then?
      [Angelic music plays... ]
      King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
      Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distrib
  • "Spam King"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:28AM (#19477485) Journal
    Has anyone ever been accused of spamming who wasn't described as "the Spam King"? The UCE world sounds like medieval Europe, where everyone with a castle and a few horses was the King of Whateveritania.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Billosaur ( 927319 ) *

      Too true. "King" is a royal and regal word, watered down enough by a bunch of potentate wannabes, without subjecting it to the likes of this moron's ilk. I'm thinking "Chief Spam Weasel" is more in keeping with what he is.

    • by Otter ( 3800 )
      For example:

      Alan Ralsky [detnews.com]

      Scott Richter [securityfocus.com]

      Ryan Pitylak [msn.com]

      Sanford Wallace [com.com]

      The first ten results on Google give four different Spam Kings, none of which is the guy here, one of which involves Burger King and real Spam.

      • Apparently a "Spam King" is like a hydra; cut off one head and a bunch more pop up. Until there's some kind of live monetary cost for sending out emails, the profit in spamming outweighs the possible penalty, especially if you live outside the US. Then you can thumb your nose at CAN-SPAM.

    • Moreover, 1.2M addresses would hardly qualify him as "King Nothing" in the spam realm.
  • by andyteleco ( 1090569 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:29AM (#19477497)
    He should be sent to Russia, there he would find justice like Vardan Kushnir [wikipedia.org]
  • by llZENll ( 545605 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:30AM (#19477511)
    Spam is just insane, 90 billion per day are sent, 90 billion! This is great as it sends a message to spammers that finally it will not be tollerated. The charges and sentences are pretty pathetic considering the amount of spam these guys sent, probably well into the trillions. Unfortunately this will do little to curb spam as we have little power enforcing spamming across the borders of the USA.
  • Cool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Now is someone going to arrest the guys who send my junk mail with fake little credit cards in them, or whoever has a machine call up to tell me I have a cheap vacation waiting for me? Why is that fine, but this guy goes to jail for doing the same thing via a different medium?
  • does this mean i can start using my old email account again?
  • by hellfire ( 86129 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [vdalived]> on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:35AM (#19477589) Homepage
    I'm sending care packages to all of his fellow inmates... bottles and bottles of penis enlargement pills.

    I'll send one to him as well, but the penis enlargement pill bottles will be emptied and refilled with breast enlargement pills, instead.

    I know, I know... they don't work... but I can dream can't I?
    • He better hope his bunkmate in prison isn't one of his former customers who got the penis enlargement pills but found out sadly they didn't work...

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by torqer ( 538711 )
        I'd imagine the situation would be worse if the penis enlargement pills actually *did* work...
  • We discussed Vitale's arrest back in February.


    Now if only they'd nail his brother Dick. He must be violating a noise ordinance somewhere.
  • Truly Perplexing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gaelfx ( 1111115 )

    He was caught making a deal with a government informant that sent spam e-mails advertising a computer security program in return for 50 percent of the product's profits, prosecutors said.
    Was the guy so greedy he couldn't see that this deal was way too sweet or is this the standard pay-off to a spammer? Or is that not actually a great deal?
  • Jail Not Warranted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aldheorte ( 162967 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:44AM (#19477687)
    Why would we jail someone for spamming? They are non-violent offenders. Now, after forcing us to waste our time dealing with spam, we get the additional opportunity to pay for his housing for up to 11 years. I think we should place non-violent offenders under house arrest and have them work to undo the damage they did. Maybe have him spend several years identifying spam or doing community service.

    This jailing of people for computer crimes that did not cause physical injury and do not present a continuing danger is ridiculous. Take the money they made illegally away and then have them do something to make it up to the community while on probation. Now, if they make a second attempt and get convicted again at whatever they were convicted of originally... then let's reestablish public gallows and hang them, then mount their head on a spike somewhere preferably near a webcam. The point is, either way, they don't go to prison and we save money.

    In serious, this whole idea of throwing people in jail for things they did on a computer (including copyright violations) that didn't result in someone being bodily harmed or killed is totally out of proportion and a short-sighted way of dealing with the problem. You can beat the living crap out of someone, enough to give them some minor form of permanent disability for the rest of their life, and get a year in most states - and that's the maximum, which will only be applied if you are a chronic repeat offender.
    • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @10:59AM (#19477831)

      Why would we jail someone for spamming? They are non-violent offenders.

      People who commit burglary while the owners are away are non-violent offenders. Serious fraudsters are non-violent offenders. Drug dealers are non-violent offenders. Violence is not a prerequisite for jailing criminals, nor should it be. Harm to society is not always physical.

      • No, but it makes much more sense to have them pay restitution. Paying large sums of money and depleting your cash reserves or going into debt is quite a deterrent, and it benefits society by raising money and paying awards to the victims.

        Putting him in jail may suck for him, but it also sucks for taxpayers.
      • People who commit burglary while the owners are away are non-violent offenders. - Yes and they take physical property from someone, theft.

        Serious fraudsters are non-violent offenders. - I assume you mean financial fraud. Again physical property (money) is taken from someone.

        Drug dealers are non-violent offenders. - I don't know where you buy your drugs but from what I understand most drug dealers aren't the hippy types giving it away for free.

        Jail should be for violent offenders to protect others fr
    • You're right: jail isn't warranted.

      Put him in an electric chair where the switch has been replaced with dial that is labeled:
      1. Barely Stings
      2. Kinda Painful ...
      and so on all the way up to
      "11 - Smokey and Crispy".

      Let the spamming piece of s*** sit there while flustered mail admins take turns jazzing the dial back and forth under "6. Life Threatening". When we think he's had enough (not that it'll ever happen), we'll slather some K.C. Masterpiece on him and give "11" a try.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Technician ( 215283 )
      Why would we jail someone for spamming? They are non-violent offenders.

      Would you like to spend your entire life from birth to death deleting spam? It doesn't take long to delete a single spam, just a second or two. In the US alone, just deleting spam has taken the manhours of several peoples entire lifetimes. Just because it isn't all stacked up for a few individuals to use their entire life deleting spam but spreading it out cross the entire US population instead does not remove the fact that spam has t
    • Why would we jail someone for spamming? They are non-violent offenders.

      I agree. He shouldn't go to jail. He sent 50,000 spams to 1.277 million email addresses (albeit AOL addresses). His punishment should be to have to hand-sort through 63,850,000,000 of AOL's spam reject emails looking for false positives. Sprinkle in a couple hundred legit emails to check to make sure he's really trying. When he finds them all, he's free to go.

      What's that? He'd prefer to go to jail you say?

    • Let me ask you this: what does he offer our society? If the answer is nothing, why should we keep him alive?
  • The government should not be putting him away for 11 years, it should be making him pay the bills of the resources his spam consumed and a punitive restitution fine to Time Warner. That would be far more helpful to Time Warner than just locking him up.
  • From the Reuters article:

    He was caught making a deal with a government informant that sent spam e-mails advertising a computer security program in return for 50 percent of the product's profits...

    That's a weird sentence. Did the informant send spam e-mails (and hence is guilty of violating CAN-SPAM,) or did the guy get caught because he made a deal to send spam e-mails?

    Do informants gets to break the law? I'm not sure how all that works...

  • The damage is done (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <spydermann,slashdot&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @11:07AM (#19477925) Homepage Journal
    Fine, he goes to jail. But in the meantime, he's probably sold millions of e-mail addresses to other spammers, because people trusted CAN-SPAM and clicked on the "unsubscribe" link.

    The problem with CAN-SPAM is that it's a reactive measure. While allowing spammers to collect your e-mail addresses, the government is feeding the beast they're supposed to kill in the first place.
  • by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2007 @11:17AM (#19478037) Homepage Journal
    How about we lock this guy in a cell with a keyboard, and let him out when he's pressed 'delete' once for every spam he sent?
    • 1,277,000 addresses
      1 second per email
      @ 60 emails per minute
      = 21283 minutes

      =354 hours of pressing delete=

      Or 8.87 40-hour work weeks
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Andy_R ( 114137 )
        You're assuming he only sent 1 mail to each address. If this guy is anything like the people asking me to deposit a currency my country doesn't use with 'VIP Royal Casinos', the people using text from bugzilla for their mail titles, or the countless women with middle initials who behind 'can you imagine that you are healthy' he'll have spammed each one of them dozens of times per day.
      • by dodobh ( 65811 )
        Did anyone say he only sent one message to each address?
  • Make him open and read aloud every SPAM he ever sent.
  • I dislike spammers, but that's rather long for spamming.

    I'd rather they catch 11 spammers and give them 1 year each.

    Catching just one and sentencing him to 11 years is just silly, and doesn't help much.

    Most people believe they won't get caught. If you start catching and jailing 100s of spammers for even sentences of a few months AND fine them so they end up with a significant net loss, then spammers will stop spamming - because they start noticing that spammers ARE getting caught.

    What's with these crazy sen

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!

Working...