Monday, November 05, 2007

The US CAN-SPAM Law In Action

It appears that the rather lax US CAN-SPAM Law can actually land some punches on spammers. As compared to the Australian Spam Act whereby it is illegal to send someone UCE (you have to have had an existing business relationship with the target and the target should be reasonably expecting marketing emails from you) else you'll get a warning then an AU$11,000 fine, the US CAN-SPAM law basically allows anyone and everyone to be able to send you as much UCE as they want until you ask to be removed from their spammer list, and at that point, they must stop sending their spam to you or face prosecution.

Well, it appears that Todd Moeller from New Jersey was sentenced to 27 months jail and a US$180,000 fine for sending spam to AOL subscribers. Todd's partner in crime, Adam Vitale from Brooklyn, faces sentencing on 13 November, 2007 and I hope that he also gets what he's due.

In other anti-spammer news, Jeffrey A Kilbride of Venice, California and James R Schaffer of Paradise Valley, Arizona were sentenced in October 2007 to more than 5 years jail each and were fined US$100,000 and ordered to pay US$77,500 in restitution to AOL. They were also ordered to jointly forfeit US$1.1m - the estimated entire proceeds of their porn spamming efforts. Jennifer Clason, 33, of Raymond, New Hampshire (previously of Tempe, Arizona), Andrew Ellifson, 31, of Scottsdale, Arizona and Kirk Rogers, 43, of Manhattan Beach, California managed to escape punishment by pleading guilty and turning state's evidence - a lucky escape, but let's ensure no-one forgets their names and their part in these crimes.

Out of interest, Jennifer Clason, a 33 year old stay-at-home mother runs a website called and even after admitting her guilt in this porn spamming operation, continues to run this website. I wonder how many other stay-at-home parents she's trying to lure into crime?

Jeffrey Brett Goodin of Azusa, California was sentenced in June 2007 to 6 years improzimne t for phishing emails sent to AOL users.

From the above recent cases, as well as a number of older ones, it seems that AOL is the only ISP to actively seek punishment for people spamming its members. While this is a good thing for AOL subscribers, it is simply not enough - all ISPs should be actively seeking compensation from spammers and actively chasing them down and having them prosecuted. Of course, as the number of spams that originate in the AOL network is still far from insignificant, AOL needs to keep an eye on their own users as well.


The Outspoken Wookie

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