AOL Spammer canned for 15 Months

Jason Smathers who stole 90 million AoL e-mail addresses and sold them in alphabetical blocks to spammers is sent to prison for a year and a bit. He also has to pay restitution to AoL at the usual inflated level that US courts seem to impose.

  • Smathers was prosecuted under the US federal CAN-spam law as well as laws concerning interstate transportation of stolen property.
  • There have, as yet, been no prosecutions under the UK anti-spam laws.
  • Most spam originates in the US and the Americas generally, less than 2% originates from the UK
  • According to the BBC News report , “AOL said Mr Smathers’ act had cost the company at least $300,000 (¬£166,240), although the judge said that figure was speculative. The judge ordered Mr Smathers to pay $84,000 (¬£46,560) in restitution, but he delayed the order so that AOL could prove whether the damages were higher.”
  • Nice to see healthy skepticism from a judge regarding the cost estimates put forward by a company in a case like this
  • The Register report by John Leyden has more links to the background of this case

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