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20 Nov 2005
In a hitherto little noticed case, Florida spammer Peter Moshou was sentenced to a year in jail and a $120,000 fine for violating the CAN SPAM act. Like the Jaynes case in which I was a witness, this case was only possible because a large ISP did most of the work.
Earthlink filed a civil case against Moshou in January for sending vast amounts of spam touting brokerage for time-share resales. (Resale brokerage is a real business, although I don't know whether his was real or just a scam.) Earthlink later provided the evidence to the US Attorney, and Moshou pleaded guilty to criminal charges on June 30 without a trial.
In a press release, Earthlink also said they got a CAN SPAM civil judgement and injunction against Craig Brockwell and his company BC Alliance for violating CAN SPAM and other laws, in a suit filed at the same time as the original Moshou suit. Brockwell specialized in printer ink spam.
Although it's somewhat encouraging that we're seeing civil and criminal suits won under CAN SPAM, the reality is that it's only worth the substantial expense for large companies like AOL and Earthlink. We still need spam laws that small businesses and individuals can afford to use.
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