Price of Spam

Reports in from Australia and New Zealand plus that august journal The Register, of a court case against one Lance Atkinson. You may have heard of him as he’s one of the chaps behind millions spam mails offering to augment appendages under such brands as Herbal King, Elite Herbal and Express Herbal, all made and shipped by Tulip Lab of India.

But how much spam did the spammer actually send out?  The Sydney Morning Herald says it’s in the billions mark and cites the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

…allegedly controlled a “botnet” of 35,000 computers, capable of sending 10 billion email messages a day.

Atkinson’s fine for all this is the Register tells us, is $92,715 (about US $63,400). Infonews in New Zealand put it at $100K but which ever, all of which pales compared to the $2.2M USD he caught fined in 2005. But, being a good egg and of good character Lance got off lightly in any event:

The maximum penalty provided in the UEM Act for an individual is $200,000 but Justice French said Lance Atkinson was entitled to a substantial discount because of his co-operation and candour with authorities at an early stage, his undertaking to comply with the Act and the fact that the spamming began before it became illegal. (Infonews)

All a paltry drop etc when compared with the volume. None the less, according to Voxy in Kiwiland the Internal Affairs anti-spam compliance unit is celebrating:

The negative effects of spam are significant and far reaching and it’s pleasing to know there’s at least one less spammer plaguing the internet.

Too right, one less…one less.