Virginia Arrests Man for Spam

By on December 11, 2003, 11:06 PM
Virginia authorities said on Thursday they had arrested and charged a North Carolina man for sending "spam" e-mail in the first use of a new state law that could bring penalties of up to 20 years in prison.

Read more: [URL=http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&ncid=578&e=4&u=/nm/20031211/ts_nm/tech_spam_virginia_dc]Yahoo News[/URL].




User Comments: 42

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StormBringer said:
20 year, hmm, guess thats a start, though I've push for much stiffer penalties(/me mumbles something about pliers and a blowtorch) This is definately what it is going to take to cut down on the amount of spam that fills our inbox every day. I don't see it really being any more effective than any other laws are, but it will likely be enough to stop some of these slimeballs, which would be that much less junk to deal with.
young&wild said:
I personally wouldn't mind to see spammers going for a longer sentence. Their selfish and irresponsible acts account for a major part of internet traffic. Spam is a waste of time when its comes to sorting your mailbox. Just hope this charges will make spammers think twice.
Qun Mang said:
20 years seems like quite a long time for sending spam considering some violent felons get mere months in prison. Sure, I don't mind seeing spammers getting tossed in prison as I hate spam as much as others, but sentences should be fair. Rather, jail time should be a year max for each offense plus huge fines that cancel out all profit gained plus more.
agrav8r said:
Well I am not going to start a flame war, but our society has some pretty messed up issues. 20 years for spam, but you can kill a baby being born and were ok with that, as long as it doesn't personally affect us.Sorry and no need to reply to my comment, i am not going to change your mind and you mine, so ......
SNGX1275 said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by agrav8r [/i]Well I am not going to start a flame war, but our society has some pretty messed up issues. 20 years for spam, but you can kill a baby being born and were ok with that, as long as it doesn't personally affect us.Sorry and no need to reply to my comment, i am not going to change your mind and you mine, so ...... [/quote] I know what you are saying, and I also see that by your "no need to reply" thing you are just hoping to get your statement out and then run and hide - thats just lame and pisses people off.First off I'm going to say that spammers shoudln't be sent to jail for 20 years. People fail to look at this realistically and I have no idea why that happens.point 1 - spam is not THAT BAD come on now guys, you spend a few seconds a day decidign whether to read something or not, if not you delete it, its over, done.point 2 - spam hasn't really ever hurt you unless you are dumb enough to believe whatever you see on informercialspoint 3 - we are going to send people to jail for spam? yet at this identical time the majority of the people are against the death penalty. well I'll tell you what - I'd rather get SPAM filtered by my [b]already in use SPAM filter[/b] (and delete it later) than have my tax money supporting some do0d that didn't do anything with his life and is now getting free food and housing. While I, at the same time, am struggling to get a master's degree and pay my heating bill.Overall point - get a spam filter, have it filter the stuff you don't want, delete the stuff you don't want after its filtered [b]automatically[/b] and be done with it. Everyone is getting pissed off about something that is fairly controllable.
MrGaribaldi said:
SNGX, you pretty well summed up my feelings...At first glance of Julio's post, I thought "w00t, finally something that'll curb the menace spam has become", but then I started to think a bit about it... 20 years is a way too long punishment for spamming. And the wrong way of handling the problem imo.Instead of, as you say, giving someone free food and housing (though not as nice as (s)he'd have otherwise), why not give them huge fines? Let them [i]pay in cash[/i] for what they've done, with a fine of around 100$ [i]for each message sendt[/i]... Now that I'd imagine would remove most, if not all, of the incentives for spamming.But an alternative to fines could also be put in place. How about community work, cleaning toilets, removing tags and the likes for 45000 hours instead? (That's aprox 3 years)And let's not stop there, but also fine the companies adverticing with spam. If a company were to be fined 50-250 000$ (or higher) for adverticing using spam, chances are that fewer, if any, company would use spam. It would be too costly, and give the company way too negative PR.Just some ideas that I think will be a better solution than regular prison sentences.
SNGX1275 said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by MrGaribaldi [/i]Poertner, you pretty well summed up my feelings...[/quote] ?He has yet to reply to this thread.
Strakian said:
I was all for the spammer in jail thing, but now, I feel more enlightened and opinionated about the whole thing. SNGX makes a very good point about 20 years and using our tax dollars to put this slimer in the slammer... I also dig the fine idea... but realistically I don't think America knows what it's doing with this whole fighting spam thing. It's kinda like Bush's war on terrorism... at no point is the president going to sit down in his chair with a beer and go 'we won'.Know what I mean?Also, this is kinda like fining 12 year old girls from NY for downloading a BS (Britany Spears) album... oh wait, that happened. :rolleyes:
poertner_1274 said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by MrGaribaldi [/i]Poertner, you pretty well summed up my feelings...[/quote] I was wondering the same thing, but I'll reply now :)You know storm said this is what we need to get a start on cracking down on spam, but I'm not sure how much affect it will have on people. It is kind of like the RIAA trying to cut down on piracy, they have sued countless people over their issues, and there are still a LOT of people who use P2P software to get songs. I think it will help, but there is NO way it will even start to eliminate the problem IMO.But I hope I am wrong, and people begin to realize what a pain in the butt spam is and simply stop sending it.
Phantasm66 said:
Can't he just get the death penalty?;)[quote][i]Originally posted by SNGX1275 [/i]?He has yet to reply to this thread. [/quote] Poertner is EVERYWHERE! Kind of like God.;)
UncleGemboel said:
20 years for spam? I thinks it's too long, well i don't really know how Virginian law works, but to me that too heavy for just spam, i mean many other crime much more deserve it.yes, law in my country sucks so i can't say anything about this, just in my opinion, it's too long.to Phantasm66, what r u thinking for giving death penalty for spammer, this is a joke, right?
poertner_1274 said:
I think they are trying to make a point with this guy. Showing what will happen if you are involved with sending spam. That is how the law works with their first 'victim' of a new crime. They throw the book at them and try to get them with as much damage as possible. Thus showing others what the consequences are, and hopefully making them change their mind about spamming people.Yes I believe Phantasm is kidding, that comment was more directed toward me. No worries mate :)
Vehementi said:
I heard on NPR that they got 2 guys in West Virginia? Did they get both or is this just a media inconsistency?I don't agree with the jail time either, I think there should be massive fines for the spammer and the company advertising as well.
Phantasm66 said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by UncleGemboel [/i]to Phantasm66, what r u thinking for giving death penalty for spammer, this is a joke, right? [/quote] Did you not notice the ;) that I placed at the end of my sentence?
MrGaribaldi said:
Sngx, sorry, I meant of course you (as you can see in my edited post)... Besides, sometimes it's quite hard to tell the two of you apart ;) :DPoertner (and this time I'm not writing the wrong nick)> Isn't throwing the book at someone the first time, just to send a message, the wrong thing to do?I can understand that by giving someone the maximum penalty when a new law is implemented is sending a message to the rest of society that doing this (spamming) is a bad thing, and will be punished severly.But doesn't it also risk giving of a punishment that is [i]way to big[/i] for the crime commited? What about the next case where the guy had spammed 100 million people every day for 4 years? (just an example)Shouldn't be be punished harder than the one who'd only spammed 1 million people in a year?I'm not quite sure if I like the way you implement new laws in the US if you give the highest possible punishment whenever a new law is implemented, no matter if it way to severe compared to the crime commited.....
poertner_1274 said:
I'm not saying that this is the way it is done for sure (I am not very politically inclined) but I know they are always harder on the first person to set an example basically. It's just the way it works unfortunately. And I agree with you that there should be different levels of punishment for the severity of the crime, but in this case I am sick of spam so my personal thinking is that I want this to be severe so people understand the consequences and hopefully turn away from doing it. But that is just me :blush:
agrav8r said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by SNGX1275 [/i]I know what you are saying, and I also see that by your "no need to reply" thing you are just hoping to get your statement out and then run and hide - thats just lame and pisses people off. [/quote]I actually wanted to be polite as this is a COMPUTER related forum and not an anti- abortion forum, if that is concidered lame let us debate the issue. I didn't wnat to go off topic, but if that is typically accepted here, unlike every other forum I have visited, then by all means , lets dance :rolleyes:
MoRulez said:
Those are some excellent ideas MrGaribaldi. But don't you think there are similarities between the mp3 problem and spam-sending?Both are supposedly unethical/illegal, yet people get away with it still. Threat or no threat. Sure the RIAA's threats and crackdowns have supposedly decreased the transmission of mp3s, but it definitely didn't (maybe will never) stop it. And then in comes oversea issues, like programs that are foreign-based, in a country with varying laws. I can see the spam-sending moving overseas as well.
poertner_1274 said:
People get away with it because it is WAY too broad of a problem to target everyone. They can only deal with the large users right now. If they get that under control I'm sure they will target the smaller ones as well because they have nothing better to do than to bug people about pirating music.It's the same way for spam, I'm sure they are going to go after the companies or individuals who do it more than others, but then again they might not. That's just the way I would do it if it was me.
StormBringer said:
I would like you all to stop for a minute and think about all the spam you get, and how many of those have made you buy a product. If you are like me, its probably made you decide on a different brand than the one in the ad, or if it were spam for a general merchant, you probably make extra effort not to shop there. Now think about this, spam is advertising, it must have some effectiveness, or else they wouldn't use it. Instead of moaning and whining till we are blue in the face, and arguing about the best law that will do no good anyway, why not just stop buying the crap. Someone must be buying it and clicking those links, else I don't think spammers would waste their time if they didn't get results.
Strakian said:
[quote]Someone must be buying it and clicking those links, else I don't think spammers would waste their time if they didn't get results. [/quote] You caught me! I'm the one buying 3 years worth of testicular enhancers! Damn you all! :D (i'm of course joking)
poertner_1274 said:
Very good point Storm, I think every piece of spam I have ever gotten has been crap for the most part, but once in a while I do get a decent one for a store or a product, and I am like you, I delete it before looking at it, and will tend to buy a different product simply because they pissed me off with their spam. But that is just the way I am, if I go to a store and am treated like crap chances are I won't go back to that store unless I absolutely have to. I'm hard headed like that, so...
BrownPaper said:
the article did not say he was going to get 20 years in prison; that was just the maximum sentence. with a lesser sentence and a decent lawyer, he'd probably get a year in prison if he was convicted.the more annoying thing about spam, other than how it floods internet traffic, is that a lot of the claims are fraudulent. how realistic is losing 30 pounds in one week. for all i know, some of these ads can be big scams. i feel sorry for the person naive enough to put their credit card info on some form that came from spam. the authorities should go after not only the spammers but also some of the practices from these companies that use spam.
Crazy said:
First of all, sending spammers to jail for 20years is just a no go.Sending them to jail ofcourse for 3years max(depending on how mutch spam was send) and a very very very large fine. Because it must pay very good the spam busness(we get allot so it must pay off). Like was said before, spam isn't the end of the world, just get a spam filter and allot will be solved(and delete what gets past the filter). Some people indeed think what is said in the mail is true, i have a very good example of a person(not going to mention name). The person in question got a letter witch stated (s)he had to show up for a inquiry and than won a prize of 25000, as you can fiel this is bs. But yes there are stupid people on this planet and spam works with those people.I know that person very good and (s)he never learns, the person keeps ordering things ect ect (is in very high debts).To fight the spam industry, they have to cope with the same problems as the strougle against illegal mp3's. Hell you just have to set up a server on some remote island and they have to make allot of effort to catch you. As long as gouverments cant work togeterh there will be spam.If you get spam in your mail box, is it that bad??? as long that it arn't 10+ mails a day i dont really care mutch.Just delete them even faster then i got them.Well that was my prespective on the matterGreets Crazy[size=1][color=red]Edited by Poertner_1274: Please watch language on the boards.[/size][/color]
MrGaribaldi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by StormBringer [/i]I would like you all to stop for a minute and think about all the spam you get, and how many of those have made you buy a product. [/quote] I seem to recall from a documentary on spam that it's less than one for every 10 000 spam that actually reads it, and somewhere in the vincinity of 1 in a 1 000 that buys something (the numbers might be a bit off, but it's very seldom anyone buys anything from spam)...And because of this, spammers are spamming several millions... Thus congesting the internet and being a general nuisance to most of us... So only a small fraction of us are interested in what the spammers sell...[quote][i]Originally posted by BrownPaper [/i]the article did not say he was going to get 20 years in prison; that was just the maximum sentence. with a lesser sentence and a decent lawyer, he'd probably get a year in prison if he was convicted.[/quote]Yes, I realized that, but still... Having 20 years as a maximum punishment for sending spam is just crazy... See my prev post for why I think that...MoRulez> Yes I do see some similarities, but I would argue that it's not the same problem... Spamming is something that only a few people do, which annoys most net users, and cost many companies a lot of money.Downloading mp3's is something that is quite common and costs the record industry a lot of money.And both of it's against the law.But let's look a bit more closely at the motives here...Spammers send out spam to make money... It's not like a hobby, or something they do with their friends...People download mp3's because it's an easy way to get the music they want... They don't have to go to a store and buy an entire cd because they like one or two songs on that cd. And downloading doens't cost much, as there are no middle men nor a greedy record company pushing the prices up... And it's very [i]very[/i] convienient...But if there was a legal alternative with the same "qualities", I think most, if not all, would use that...Why, because they're tired of spending way too much money on a product that isn't up to par... Why should you have to buy a full cd when you only want one song? And why should you have to go to a store to get it, when you can allmost anything else on the net? And why are the online services selling the music at such a low quality with so many restrictions?So I'd say that even if there are similarities between spamming and mp3 downloading, those are only superficial, as the latter is the consumers rebelling at an industry which has lost track with "the real world"...Sorry for going so OT, but.....
StormBringer said:
Crazy, your solution is unacceptable for me, probably for others as well. 10+, try 300+ a few times a day before the filters became available, now its not as bad but its still a real pain, and wastes much of my time having to delete the junk.3 years is not something that people will fear. The way most cases go in the US courts is that people only get a fraction of the max, and only serve a fraction of that. So this 20 years max, means very little. The guy will likely get a coupl of years and a fine and will probably serve less than a year of that.
poertner_1274 said:
Very true Storm. The possibility of parole in the US is very large. If someone gets a murder sentence and gets 25-life in prison, they could still be elligible for parole in 10 years (for example) on good behavior. And I'm sure that someone who goes to jail for sending spam isn't going to be causing any trouble in a prison, and will definately get out on good behavior in a fraction of the time.
XtR-X said:
20 years is a very long time. I also think its in violation of the ammendment that states "No cruel and unusual punishment." Well yeah, he may cause many people arround the world 2 more minutes at their inbox deleting the spam, but 20 years is too much.I know some people who have been to jail for a year, even less, and it's changed their view. Just like my good cousin, his newborn baby choked on his own bottle when sleeping and died, he totally had nothing to do with it, as we all know he wouldn't hurt anyone. His wife pressed charges and at the last minute she realized it was an accident and tried to stop the charges but the authorities said it was too late. He was sentenced for 4 years to prison. It's really sad.
poertner_1274 said:
That is very unfortunate. I'm sorry to hear that XtR-X. It seems that sometimes people act before they think things through because they are upset, and it could very well be for a misled reason.My best regards to your cousin and his wife.
khosw said:
"Roughly 50 percent of the world's Internet traffic passes through Virginia"This sort of gives you a clue where to look, no.?-Another scumbag down the tubes.
SNGX1275 said:
I think maybe some of you didn't read the article. [quote]Jaynes was charged with violating limits on the number of messages a marketer can send and falsifying routing information, both illegal under the Virginia law that carries penalties of 1-5 years in prison on each count. [/quote]So he's not getting 20 years for sending a SPAM e-mail, he's violating the amount and routing information, and he did that multiple times, apparently is being charged for 4 said violations. There is a chance this dude can be sentenced to 4 years and get out in less.
agrav8r said:
No matter what this begs the question of whether he could do this in prison. Some get TV, libaries, records, and books. I thought i had seen an article on giving them computer training(can't find it now, so I will just run with it and be proven wrong), which if they have access would allow them to do this from prison.unlikely but possible
Vehementi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by agrav8r [/i]No matter what this begs the question of whether he could do this in prison. Some get TV, libaries, records, and books. I thought i had seen an article on giving them computer training(can't find it now, so I will just run with it and be proven wrong), which if they have access would allow them to do this from prison.unlikely but possible [/quote] Him being able to spam from prison? Yeah right. People thrown in prison on computer crimes don't get access to computers even much less the internet. It's like giving a weapon to a murderer (in the sense that they're giving them the means to do what they were imprisoned for).Plus I'm sure he was only spamming for money, and now he won't get any and I'm sure it isn't worth it to get caught. His prison term would only get longer.And XtR-X, that is truly horrible. I wouldn't wish that happened to anyone. I do hope your cousin gets out soon, because that really is unjust. I wonder how, on such flimsy evidence, it even got passed on in court?
MrGaribaldi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by SNGX1275 [/i]I think maybe some of you didn't read the article. [/quote]Guilty as charged :blush: I just took what was written in the thread as what the story said... I think I'll start reading a bit more carefully before posting... :blush:[quote][i]Originally posted by SNGX1275 [/i]So he's not getting 20 years for sending a SPAM e-mail, he's violating the amount and routing information, and he did that multiple times, apparently is being charged for 4 said violations. There is a chance this dude can be sentenced to 4 years and get out in less. [/quote] When that's the case, I think the law is reasonably good... Or at least it isn't as whacko as I thought at first... But I still prefer community service and fines instead of prison..
poertner_1274 said:
But the only bad thing about that Mr. G is that the person that is guilty, and sentenced to community service and fined, will still have access to the internet and the means of doing it again. It's just like someone who is a theif. Once they start stealing things it will be in their blood and they will keep doing it, even if they get jail time to 'think' about what they have done.I feel this would be the same way. If the guy is making, for example, $100,000USD a year, and gets community service and a fine of $50,000USD, what is to keep him from continuing to send spam and just pay the fines and do the service, if he is still making a reasonable amount of money (after the fines and such)?Something needs to be done to show that what has been done is wrong, and take them away from what got them in trouble in the first place(the internet).
MrGaribaldi said:
Well, let's include a visit from a parole officer (or someone similar) on a daily basis, and limit his access to computers to just a lap-top.. Granted, that won't do the trick entirely, but it'll hamper the persons ability to spam...But think about it... It really shouldn't be that hard to find a way in which (s)he no longer has the ability to spam, and still keep the person out of prison... Just because we haven't come up with an idea of how to do it, doesn't mean there isn't one... Just that we haven't thought of it yet...By saying that just because I didn't come up with a plan on how to stop the guy from spamming whilst doing community service it isn't possible, you limit yourself to a very in-the-box thinking... Which is imo a very defeatist way to think... Just like a total ban isn't the best answer to everything potentially criminal, prison isn't the best answer to every punishment... But it requires more thought to find those solutions....02$
Mictlantecuhtli said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by SNGX1275 [/i]point 1 - spam is not THAT BAD come on now guys, you spend a few seconds a day decidign whether to read something or not, if not you delete it, its over, done.point 3 - we are going to send people to jail for spam? yet at this identical time the majority of the people are against the death penalty. well I'll tell you what - I'd rather get SPAM filtered by my [b]already in use SPAM filter[/b] (and delete it later) than have my tax money supporting some do0d that didn't do anything with his life and is now getting free food and housing. While I, at the same time, am struggling to get a master's degree and pay my heating bill.Overall point - get a spam filter, have it filter the stuff you don't want, delete the stuff you don't want after its filtered [b]automatically[/b] and be done with it. Everyone is getting pissed off about something that is fairly controllable. [/quote] It's true that consumers can install spam filters, but that won't help the main problem here: sending spam hogs the network bandwidth.It doesn't hurt people (at least directly) but companies might have server slowdowns & crashes because of this, thereby possibly causing financial losses etc. I have nothing against people who want to send me a free digital camera or a ticket to Bahamas, but every time I click those ads they either redirect me somewhere else or are for US residents only ;)
agrav8r said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by MrGaribaldi [/i]Well, let's include a visit from a parole officer (or someone similar) on a daily basis, and limit his access to computers to just a lap-top.. Granted, that won't do the trick entirely, but it'll hamper the persons ability to spam...But think about it... It really shouldn't be that hard to find a way in which (s)he no longer has the ability to spam, and still keep the person out of prison... Just because we haven't come up with an idea of how to do it, doesn't mean there isn't one... Just that we haven't thought of it yet...By saying that just because I didn't come up with a plan on how to stop the guy from spamming whilst doing community service it isn't possible, you limit yourself to a very in-the-box thinking... Which is imo a very defeatist way to think... Just like a total ban isn't the best answer to everything potentially criminal, prison isn't the best answer to every punishment... But it requires more thought to find those solutions....02$ [/quote] Why not a small emp device that goes off if they get near a computer....I think that if he had to hand write apology letters to each person he spammed, one for each occurence, would be enough to make him stop. i figure a minimum of a page a letter, and he can't go free until he is done writing them. The more you spam the more time you get. and snail mail is so fun.
XtR-X said:
He's out of jail now, he's been out for a while (few years). He divorced his wife. And he's married to someone else and he has another baby due soon. Lets hope the same thing doesn't happen... oh God no don't let it happen, he's had plenty of time of misery for something he didn't intend to happen, he's not going to even risk leaving the baby alone with any food.... or even out of his sight.Have you guys ever heard that even one year in jail is a VERY long time? Well it truly is. I've been to jail for 2 hours before just for street racing and it was horrible! DONT GO THERE!!! Finnally my parents came to pick me up! Phew. And thank God that I was caught before July's street racing law that stated that any street racer caught in the act will have the car and license permanently confescated, and [the car] auctioned off.I still think it was wrong for them to put me (a minor) in jail! I mean a waiting room or something but a temp. jail! WTF.Well, I'm derailing the topic, I'm sorry, continue on everyone.
Adron said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by MrGaribaldi [/i]But doesn't it also risk giving of a punishment that is [i]way to big[/i] for the crime commited? What about the next case where the guy had spammed 100 million people every day for 4 years? (just an example)Shouldn't be be punished harder than the one who'd only spammed 1 million people in a year?[/quote] I'm not saying this to bash you in particular, but did you all actually read the article referenced? It does say that the penalty might be up to 20 years, but that'd be an application in 4 instances of a 1 to 5 year penalty. Presumably if this guy spammed a little, he will end up at the lower end of the spectrum, and if some other guy has spammed a lot, he might have more than 4 instances. This should scale just fine for any spammer. Newspapers write about "20 years" in big letters, but that's just the maximum penalty. You'll have to trust the courts to pick a proper sentence for each particular offence. You do trust the law, right?
MrGaribaldi said:
[quote][i]Originally posted by Adron [/i]I'm not saying this to bash you in particular, but did you all actually read the article referenced? It does say that the penalty might be up to 20 years, but that'd be an application in 4 instances of a 1 to 5 year penalty. [/quote] If you'd have read a bit further, you'd see that you are correct, and that I hadn't read the article... :blush:But even if I based my ideas on different punishment on the wrong basis (that you could get 20 years in prison for spamming), they still stand...
agrav8r said:
Sort of a side note, Bush signed the anti spam law today. all the dirty spammers will burn, burn, bur... sorry having a moment there. i will post an article in the news section as this thread seems to be getting a bit long.
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