5/28/2004

Sending spammers to jail

Read the article...

The article is entitled "Spammer sentenced to 7 years in prison," no
doubt to alert the general public that the US government is "cracking
down" on spam. Even the most cursory glance at the article reveals,
however, that Mr. Howard Carmack was not sent to jail for the offense
of spamming, but for fraud. Specifically, he was charged with forgery,
identity theft and falsifying business records.
Earthlink, Mr. Carmack's former ISP, has been awarded $16.4 million
dollars in damages. The article does not specify whether or not Mr.
Carmack actually generated that much, or indeed any, revenue for
himself. Presumably, he must have made money from this somehow, or why
do it?
If spam becomes a criminal offense, why is paper junk mail not treated
in the same manner?

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