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

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January 13, 2006

Team effort on Lin case. Ralsky next?

You hear a lot about antispam lawsuits led by U.S. government agencies like the FTC and FDA, or by big Internet providers such as AOL and Microsoft. Daniel Lin

But the U.S. Postal Inspection Service gets credit for helping to send Michigan pill spammer Daniel Lin to prison. According to a story in yesterday's Detroit News, Lin will be in court next Tuesday to plead guilty under a deal that could send him away for over four years. (Three other men affiliated with Lin -- Chris Chung, Mark Sadek and James Lin -- are still under investigation.)

The USPI's have been very busy with Internet crimes of late. They got plenty of help investigating the Lin case. According to an affidavit, Postal Inspector Karl Hansen consulted Spamhaus records on several occasions to gather data on Lin. He also ran several Google Groups searches and dug up info from the Nanae newsgroup and even contacted some participants by phone. (The affidavit specifically mentions a conversation with Alan Curry regarding a posting he made.) Microsoft provided a CD-ROM filled with spam samples from its infamous spam traps. Anders Henke, an administrator with German ISP Schlund, turned over valuable proxypot evidence.

All this cyber research was corroborated by a physical search in April 2004 of Lin's residence at 7080 Ten Hill Dr. in West Bloomfield, Michigan. Agents boxed up all sorts of evidence, including computers, business records, product (herbal pills), along with several guns and a bong or two. (Lin's attorney said there was no legal justification for seizing the guns, since they weren't mentioned in the search warrant.)

Interesting about the address of Lin's house. It was listed in contact data provided in the registration for networks owned by Creative Marketing Zone, a spam operation run by the notorious Alan Ralsky. Lin has long been suspected of being a partner of his neighbor Ralsky.

Could Lin's plea agreement include ratting out Ralsky?

Posted by brian at January 13, 2006 9:37 AM


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