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The Internet`s Most Wanted Spammers
By: Michael Lowry
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    Table of Contents:
  • The Internet`s Most Wanted Spammers
  • We Got One
  • The Spam Hall of Fame
  • Have You Seen This Man?

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    The Internet`s Most Wanted Spammers

    (Page 1 of 4 )

    This article will profile some of the world's most notorious spammers. I'm not talking about the groups many of them hide behind, I'm talking about the individuals that head these operations with intelligence, cunning, and a ruthless desire for chaos. Some of them have been locked up, some are still on the loose, and all are threats. Are you scared? Heh, I don't blame you.

    Let's start with a little history lesson. The first recorded case of Internet spam was an email sent over the ARPANET by Carl Gartley on behalf of Gary Thuerk. Thuerk wanted to promote some open houses in the Los Angeles area that would be showcasing the latest Digital Equipment Corp. computers. Despite inducing some sales of the computer, the overall reaction was largely negative. It did, however, land him in the Guinness World Records as the Father of Spam. The title would prove to be rather nefarious considering the band of nogoodniks that would follow in his footsteps.

    But these are just the sort of agitators that we're interested in today. These renegades have done more to offset our way of life than Al Quada. In other words, enough to wage war against them. As far as direct effects, spam consumes network and computer resources as well as human time and attention spent combating unwanted messages. Then there are the costs of financial theft, identity theft, and intellectual property theft. Several independent organizations have estimated the commercial cost to be tens of billions of dollars a year for the U.S. alone. Many people also find the content of spam offensive, seeing as pornography is one of the most advertised products. It has become so ubiquitous that it can even be found in a child's inbox.

    It was for reasons like this that the United States government passed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. CAN-SPAM stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing. It set the first U.S. standards for sending commercial email. Those of you familiar with the act are probably aware of its many shortcomings: it does not require emailers to get permission before sending marketing messages, it prohibits states from enacting stronger anti-spam protections, and it precludes legal action by spam recipients. Never has more than one percent of all spam email complied with the requirements of the law and to date, only a handful of convictions have been made under the act.

    Add to this the fact that spamming is highly lucrative for both the spammer and their clients, and you'll see why the practice is so prevalent today. Oh, and then there's the issue of how much control a government should have over the Internet, and whether spam is part of free expression. But forget about that. Let's turn to one of the most infamous spammers to ever steal your identity.

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