6 August 2011

Sanford Wallace Cannot Let Go

Image: spam by Vince_Lamb on Flickr

Who remembers Sanford Wallace?

Exactly, this is the spammer sued by Facebook, which won a $711 million civil judgement against him. But that was not all – owing to a court order Wallace was also under the obligation to forbear from accessing Facebook’s social network.

However, judging from that press release of the United States Department of Justice

Wallace’s abstinence

did not last long.

Upon a two-year investigation by the FBI, he is currently facing criminal charges for having disobeyed the order of the court as he had created a Facebook profile entitled “David Sinful-Saturdays Fredericks” and had maintained it on a regular basis.

Those activities, in the view of the prosecution, constitute acts of


in connection with electronic mail and computers pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §§ 1030 and 1037.

The charges are likely to result in the perennial imprisonment of Wallace.

I do not understand why he had to do this.
Was he maybe competing for the King’s Crown?

4 March 2011

Worth A King’s Crown


Project 365 #2: 020110 Vegetarian e-mailphoto © 2010 Pete | more info (via: Wylio)Obviously, spam is the subject of my today’s blog post.
Spam? What has a King’s crown anyway got to do with it?
Well, I would say “a lot”, but in order to figure it out, you will need to read this one to the end.

Spam is manifold

The most spam messages I have ever received used to be dull, but some were trickier.
Some time ago I described my personal expirience with a rather unusual spam email. It is funny, but that blog post brought me a surprisingly high amount of visitor traffic. On the other hand this is comprehensible, since spam arguably causes one fourth to one third of all traffic on the Internet. It seems I was not the only one to receive  an identical or a similar message to the one I described.
Also, spammers no longer distribute their content merely over e-mail. Comment sections of websites and/or weblogs have emerged to one of their newer field of interest and activity.
For instance, I used to receive some 20-40 spam comments daily on the Reguligence Weblog. The most of them appeared under older articles and this is the reason why I turned off the commenting mode to articles older than 4 weeks.

But why do spammers send spam in the first place?

Spam is an economic factor

As a matter of fact, the average spammer sends out 1,000,000 emails per day. According to the previous source, a spammer would have made $150 in 24 hours, or $4,500 a month. Equally important, the Business Pundit reports that in 2008 a spam botnet called “Storm” made some $3,5 million in pharmaceutical sales having a conversion rate of just 0,000008%…
Not bad, huh? The numbers remain attractive even notwithstanding the legal risk.

Is sending spam legal?

In a nutshell: it is not.
The United States, being the origin of 19,8% of spam messages have introduced their Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 (CAN-SPAM Act). Critics refer to it as You-Can-Spam-Act, alleging it actually allows senders to send spam, provided that they comply with some minor statutory obligations. Nevertheless, the CAN-SPAM Act helped hunting down some villains as  Sanford Wallace.
Although the European Union provided for more rigid rules in its E-Commerce (2000/31/EC) and E-Privacy (2002/58/EC) Directives,  courts within the EU cannot vaunt such examples of judicial success.

Back to the headline

A promise is a promise and now I will reveal why I chose the headline of this article.
Today I read about Robert Soloway, a Spam King, being released after nearly 4 years in prison. While he was active, that guy managed to send the unbelievable amount of 10 trillion spam e-mails, resulting in $20,000-a-day proceeds.

Isn’t  spam indeed worth at least a king’s crown? Your turn.


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4 November 2009

Facebook wins lawsuit against infamous spammer

Facebook brought suit against Sanford Wallace, a notorious online marketer and spammer, claiming that Wallace and his affiliates created Facebook accounts through which they established a phishing scheme in November 2008.

The suit was based on the so called CAN-SPAM Act (‘‘Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003’’) and Facebook claimed cited 14 million violations to that law and $7.5 billion in damages.

Last week, Facebook eventually prevailed and was awarded damages upwards of $700 million in the District Court in San Jose, California.

Though Facebook may never receive the entire $700 million award, considering Wallace filed bankruptcy, the verdict sends a strong messages to spammers and would-be spammers to stay off social networks.