February 13, 2005

Spammers on the Run?

After spending hours cleaning out trackback spam (the latest and greatest target of the aggressive spammers), I loved seeing this article:

Viagra spammers being put out of action

The suits were filed against John Does because, after months of investigation, Microsoft and Pfizer still don't know the identity of these spammers or their acolytes. But now, the firms can use subpoenas to uncover them, as Microsoft has done successfully in nearly 100 suits filed recently against some of the Internet's most infamous spam operators.

Don't expect Viagra spam -- or Ambien spam, Cialis spam, Vicodin spam, or spam in general -- to stop completely. But the increasing numbers of legal actions filed by Microsoft, other Internet service providers and state law enforcement authorities against spammers represent an encouraging development. They could change the economics of spam, making it increasingly difficult for spammers to turn a profit.

Consider the following. In January, a suit brought by Earthlink succeeded in stopping -- at least for now -- a group known as the ``Alabama spammers,'' which is believed to be one of the Internet's largest spamming operations. Also in January, the Texas attorney general filed a suit against a college student who is listed among the world's top five spammers by Spamhaus.org, a watchdog group.

A bevy of suits by other ISPs have slapped spammers with fines ranging from $140,000 to $1 billion. The money won't be collected, but the spammers are on the run. And in Virginia a spammer was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Couldn't happen to a nicer group of people.

Posted by Mary at February 13, 2005 03:26 PM | Miscellaneous | Technorati links |