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back to article Seattle Spam King Dark Mailer faces 47-month sentence

One of the world's most prolific spammers has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $708,000 in income for blasting out tens of millions of unwanted emails. Robert Alan Soloway, 29, on Tuesday received 47 months in federal prison following a two-and-a-half-day sentencing hearing. Federal …

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Unhappy

There's gold in them thar hills

As long as we have a supply of imbeciles to buy stuff, the spammers will always be able to make money.

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60 days to report to prison?

eh? what's happened here? don't you just get taken from the dock and thrown in the slammer?

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Happy

You forgot...

Jeremy Jaynes, who got 9 years in the slammer. It's really a pity that it took so long to put Soloway away - I remember it was 5 or 10 years ago that his name was reviled and spit on by anti-spammers.

I notice that the last few spammer convictions have included conviction for violations of the Can-Spam Act. The anti -spammers said that the law was worthless, but it looks like they'll have to eat their words.

Watch all the holier-than-thous come out of the woodwork to defend themselves. If they'd devote some of their time to fighting spam instead of attacking others for their opinions, maybe the world would be a lot better place.

Last I heard from our email admin, we were running a bit over 100,000 emails a day, with about 90,000 of them spam. Fortunately, we pay big bucks to get the Pure Message system to delete those, so we get very few in our inboxes.

But today I got a spam with a nude pic of Angelina Jolie and it said that she and Brad were breaking up, and to click here to watch the video. I surmise the video would download a keystroke logger or other nasty trojan into your PC if you did watch the movie. If you want to see more of her, watch the movie Beowulf.

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Silver badge

Spam King?

The reason the media use the word "king" is because mostly they try to avoid headlines using the words "wanker", "arsehole" (or US equivalent) and similar.

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Bronze badge
Stop

We should help good Samaritans block the imbeciles

Why don't we stop more spammers? For example, consider:

http://groups.google.com/group/gmail-labs-suggest-a-labs-feature/browse_frm/thread/d9e225b090633288#

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Dark Mailer...

Meet Bubba. U is now his gur'fren'. By da' way, he's been on da herbal enlargement supplement U is so familyah wid...

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Unhappy

Only 47 months!

Dam - I'll still be employed and need to use email when he gets out. Oh well.

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Silver badge

There is a lesson here...

Spam DOES work (until you get caught!). As long as people respond (and it doesn't take much of a response), spammers will continue. The cost for sending out zillions of emails is NOTHING, and the income realized is (although really sleazy) significant. As long as this continues, we WILL have spam.

Somebody always wants Viagra! (or so it appears!).

If the time from first spam message to jail decreased significantly (hours?) it might help!

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IT Angle

Perhaps what is needed is a bit of capitalism...

If it cost 1p (or 1c) per recipient to send an email, and no cost to receive one; if it could be collected easily by ISPs....it could probably fund a private network for email only.

The costs would be trivial for most people, affordable for legitimate business and out of the reach of most spammers, whose "business model" banks on sending millions of emails.

Technically, it really should be feasible...

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Thumb Down

@Shannon

Ah, you're pimping your "how to beat spam" solution on these hallowed pages again. Surely the lack of interest in it would have told you something by now.

How you really beat spam is jail anyone that buys anything from junk email and to execute spammers in public squares. Sure, it's unworkable, but it's better than your trademark-violation SpamSlam.

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Boffin

@Martin

I guess you don't run many mailing lists.

On my tit-wank.com domain (no, really), I run a few low-volume techie lists that could cost me a few grand a month at a penny a mail.

What is needed is for the penalty for spamming to be so punitive that it discourages it. Also, you need to play follow-the-money and cripple anyone profiting from Spam. With every sale, there's a money trail. Stop that and you stop Spam.

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Go

And now its time ...

... to go after those who are spamming by telephone, using recorded messages.

Make it clear that the sender of an unsolicited nuisance call CAN AND WILL be extradited to the recipient's country for trial and guaranteed imprisonment if they violate TPS rules, for example, even if the call is not an offence in the country it is made from.

We've somehow managed to make certain non-EU sellers liable for VAT when selling to EU countries. Its high time we made them obey our laws when posting or calling too.

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Does anybody know...

...what became of Billy Carson of Weston, Florida? He was spamming dodgy medical insurance at one point, and when a British GP exposed him, he (the GP) got joe-jobbed off the internet. This struck a chord with me because I have friends in Weston, and their next-door neighbour died because she had poor medical insurance.

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Boffin

Now it's time to...

Go after telemarketers and junk snail mail.

I can at least filter out junk email, real non-virtual interruption is 10 times worse in my opinion. The "do not call list" for telemarketers has helped, but you still get bothered by smaller business which aren't subjected to it.

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RW
IT Angle

@ Herby

"Somebody always wants Viagra! (or so it appears!)."

What I don't understand is why the Viagra spams work at all. If you want cheap Viagra, there are any number of online pharmacies that will happily sell it to you, shipped from one or another country with less restrictive rules on the sale of Rx meds than the EU, US, etc.

Or is it shyness, a reluctance to say "hey, doc, the old pecker's a bit limp these days and the missus is unhappy about it, can you give me something to put some lead back into the pencil?"

But, ah, it's Thursday, so a true story to amuse those reading: about a year ago I ran out of Viagra and needed to get a new prescription; I use the stuff rarely and the old Rx had expired, so couldn't be used for a refill. I went to see my doctor and got his wonderful locum, whom I call Dr. Ida. She's a gal "of a certain age", a good egg in every positive sense. I explained my need, she smiled and said "well, what do you want, Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra?" Ha ha.

We nattered for a minute or two after she wrote the scrip. She laughingly described how middle-aged farts come skulking into the clinic and get all flustered at asking (gasp!) a female MD for ED meds. Evidently, her cheery and straightforward approach "well, which one do you want?" is difficult for them to handle.

Unfortunately, Viagra is very costly, so some months later scoured the web for a non-ripoff online source, and ended up with a lifetime supply of a generic version from Country X at a fraction the price of the brand name stuff.

I think Pfizer's shooting themselves in the foot with their high prices.

Back to IT.

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Tom
Silver badge

@AC

If you live in the UK (and presumabley are a private individual), you can opt out of receiving marketing telephone calls with the Telephone Preference Service. The system is effective, and works, because anyone violating it (and its pretty easy to track who it is once a complaint is made, unlike spam) can be reported very simply, and violations carry a hefty £5000 fine.

28 days after turning it on, you will receive no marketing calls, recorded or otherwise..

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