I guess it was just a matter of time. I have been wondering, ever since a Virginia jury sentenced a spammer to seven years in prison, when and where the next wave of criminal prosecutions would come. The "spam king", according to news reports, was indicted in Washington state and arrested yesterday.
I don't like these criminal prosecutions for sending commercial e-mail, even when rather nefarious methodologies are used. Is it any wonder that the prosecution comes in Microsoft's backyard? Microsoft spends a lot of money each year on attacking spam from a technical standpoint, but isn't that the cost of doing business? These major ISPs (you know who you are) act like they are doing the public a favor in combating spam, but they forget that e-mail was the "killer application" that gave them life in the first place. Sometimes I think that all they are really doing is creating a demand for charging commercial e-mailers to let "spam" make it through their systems. So, if that is the case, why is government protecting these private commercial interests with aggressive and expensive prosecutions? One thing is for sure. All of our commercial e-mail clients will have to be even more aware of the criminal risks with this apparent change in strategy to combat spam. I wonder if the impact of this will simply be to move more mailers towards buying the ISPs' spam mailing services? What a great marketing department...the US Attorney's office!
I find it interesting, by the way, that this guy is supposed to be living the high life yet Microsoft has a $7 Million unpaid civil judgment against him. If he has funds, has the ritzy condo, sports car etc., then I don't understand why Microsoft hasn't been willing or able to seize those assets in execution on its judgment? We handle a lot of defense litigation against Microsoft, and their spam business people, in-house counsel, and outside law firms are very thorough, very smart, and very effective. Is this guy really as big as they say? I guess we'll find out, buy I can tell you that sending a million e-mails a day is a relatively lightweight load for commercial e-mailers, although it sounds like a huge amount to someone outside the industry.