A Weblog About Topics and Issues Discussed in the Book Spam Kings by Brian McWilliams

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October 28, 2004

More ISP lawsuits against spammers

For maximal PR value, AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Earthlink simultaneously announced new lawsuits against numerous spammers today.

One of AOL's lawsuits, which targets 20 "John Does" (unidentified spammers), is the first to target the practice of sending IM spam ("spim") to AOL Instant Messenger users. AOL's other suit goes after ten John Does who spammed AOL users with email messages about buying Vicodin and other drugs without a prescription.

Yahoo is going after Epoth LLC, aka East Coast Exotics, a New Jersey-based porn & pills spammer that has apparently tangled with anti-spammers in the past.

By this point, junk emailers in the USA know they risk getting sued every time they click the "send" button on their spamware programs. So why do they do continue to spam? From talking to spammers, I've come to the follow conclusion.

A lot of junk emailers haven't had much success in life prior to entering the business. When they take up spamming, they (literally) have nothing to lose. They see only the upside: making hundreds of thousands of dollars (or much more) for very little work.

Say one of these spammers gets hit with a civil lawsuit, and the ISP prevails. A court will probably order the spammer to pay the ISP damages, in an amount that basically empties the spammer's bank accounts of all ill-begotten profits.

In other words, the spammer is just back to where he or she started.

Posted by brian at October 28, 2004 9:41 AM


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