Spammers Ordered To Pay $236 Million

from the good-luck-collecting dept

While the chances that they'll ever actually pay are quite remote, some people will surely be happy to hear that some spammers were ordered to pay $236 million in damages for spamming an ISP that flooded it, disrupting customer bandwidth, forcing the ISP to upgrade its servers while also costing it customers. The amount actually works out to $10 per spam message, which seems a bit on the high side. Of course, this is hardly the first huge fine against spammers, and we've yet to see one actually result in payment -- but we have seen spammers on the losing side of these cases come back later to spam some more. While there may be some emotional pleasure in seeing a spammer hit with such a big fine, it's an open question as to whether or not it actually acts as any kind of deterrent.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: fines, spammers


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  1. identicon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 8 Oct 2008 @ 6:24am

    Deterrent?

    So what is your solution, Mike? I would rather see a good mix of jail time and some hefty fines. I know another good one. The guilty should have to gather up all their computers, remove all filter programs, open every single email and buy or click through on every single spam message until they are bankrupt and their computer will no longer boot because of the extreme amount of spyware/adware/worms/trojans/viruses on the computer. The question will be what to do with all the V[@gra?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    J.Locke, 8 Oct 2008 @ 6:38am

    Some context

    Wow 236 million, you could almost pay the annual salary of two wall street executives with that!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    J.Locke, 8 Oct 2008 @ 6:39am

    Re: Deterrent?

    "The guilty should have to gather up all their computers, remove all filter programs, open every single email and buy or click through on every single spam message until they are bankrupt and their computer will no longer boot because of the extreme amount of spyware/adware/worms/trojans/viruses on the computer. "

    Wow very Dante, I like it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    NullOp, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:08am

    Penalty

    The penalty for spamming should be jail time AND a hefty fine. In the eighties it was discovered that big corporations considered fines for polluting, spam = electronic pollution, a "cost of doing business." But when corporate officers went to jail, "Whoa!", now that was a different matter! So, the jail time punishes the individual and the fine the corporation. Of course it is difficult, at times, to identify the "guilty party" as everyone points to everyone else during depositions! Hmmm....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    James, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:14am

    I'd rather...

    ...see the spammer hit w/a big BRICK!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:15am

    Re: Some context

    Heh. That's part of the problem.

    See someday, America is going to wake up and realized they put up a $700B bounty on the heads of the people who caused this mess, which is substantially more than the current value on Bin Laden's Head.

    Bailout? Nah.
    Rescue? Nah.
    Bounty? Sounds good to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    mike, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:23am

    Re: Deterrent?

    Chuck Norris is very great at what he does. spammers need to be shot. bottom line.

    NRA member

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Mike, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Some context

    Sounds better to shoot first and ask questions after there buried.

    NRA Proud Member

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:32am

    At $10 a message...

    So, they only sent out about 23.6 million emails. I mean, come on, who hasn't done that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Mr. T, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:38am

    Oh no!! Where will I be able to purchace my viagra from now?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2008 @ 7:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Some context

    Hey, hold the fire back now.

    But Worldcom and Tyco didn't get special treatment, neither should they.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Oct 2008 @ 8:03am

    Re: Deterrent?

    I personaly prefer 'fine or jail. If you can't pay the fine, you gotta serve the time' That way it's a deterrent either way. $10 per message sounds reasonable, because it means that there's no way in hell they could have made enough of a profit to pay that off, unless they started fairly rich...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Buster, 8 Oct 2008 @ 8:27am

    Tanks of gas

    So umm about how many tanks of gas are they giving up to pay this back?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    winterfreez, 8 Oct 2008 @ 11:00am

    Re: Tanks of gas

    By the time they get around to actually paying it back? About 2 or 3 tanks of gas... :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Johnny Canada, 8 Oct 2008 @ 11:59am

    I think the fine and jail time for the head of the company.

    We will just send in Dog the Bounty Hunter to bring him in and we can all watch it on TV.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Taf, 13 Oct 2008 @ 2:11am

    Re: Some context

    ...or a golden handshake for one failed executive...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.