Will Convicting Five Major Spammers Put an End to Spam?

Sadly not — but the news that the US department of justice has secured guilty pleas from five prolific spammers, including Alan Ralsky, might make other US-based spammers pause for thought. And many of the most troublesome spammers are based in the US, although they use servers in China and other countries to serve their wares. Ralsky, 64, and his son-in-law, Scott Bradley, 38, face maximum sentences of six years in prison and $1m fines for breaking the CAN-SPAM act and additional charges of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The latter activities will have attracted rather more law enforcement efforts than the first: the CAN-SPAM act, which became law in 2003, has been widely derided by anti-spam activists, partly because it gives spammers virtual carte blanche to spew out unwanted marketing messages without the receiver’s permission, and bans individuals from suing the spammers — which could otherwise have shut many down

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