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Alan Ralsky Gripes About Can Spam Act

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the $3k-is-chump-change-to-ralsky dept.

Spam 706

fdiskne1 writes "The New York Times has an interview with Alan Ralsky, commonly known as the world's worst spammer. CNet News.com is running the same interview. Ralsky admits using open relays and virus-infected PCs and not honoring unsubscribe lists. He complains about having to comply with the new CAN-SPAM law will cost him an additional $3000 in costs to set up a genuine opt-out list. Anyone here feel sorry for him? Okay, I'm biased, but I can't wait until we see him in prison."

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Well duh.. (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841108)


"The law was not written for a commercial e-mailer," he said. "I don't think what they are doing is fair."

I think that's the point, Mr. Ralsky..

Anyone have his pic, and an address? (1)

waferhead (557795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841120)

We could all show our appreciation for his fine "work".

Re:Anyone have his pic, and an address? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841197)

Here's a start [216.239.39.104]

Alan Ralsky's brand new 8,000-square-foot luxury home near Halsted and Maple in West Bloomfield has been a busy place this month.......It's an operation still very much in business, despite last month's much-hyped settlement of a lawsuit against Ralsky by Verizon Internet Services. The suit used Virginia's tough anti-spam laws to get Ralsky to promise to stop using Verizon servers and pay an undisclosed fee for sending out millions of unsolicited e-mails to its customers.

Re:Anyone have his pic, and an address? (4, Informative)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841293)

Ralsky, meanwhile, is looking at new technology. Recently he's been talking to two computer programmers in Romania who have developed what could be called stealth spam. It is intricate computer software, said Ralsky, that can detect computers that are online and then be programmed to flash them a pop-up ad, much like the kind that display whenever a particular Web site is opened. "This is even better," he said. "You don't have to be on a Web site at all. You can just have your computer on, connected to the Internet, reading e-mail or just idling and, bam, this program detects your presence and up pops the message on your screen, past firewalls, past anti-spam programs, past anything.

Want to bet that was Windows Messenger? (no, not the IM service, the net send command in DOS)

Re:Anyone have his pic, and an address? (1)

itwerx (165526) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841361)

Ralsky, meanwhile, is looking at new technology...past anything.

I read the article but I don't see this paragraph anywhere. Is from some other link?

here's a start (3, Informative)

erik1474 (566010) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841437)

http://www.wonker.com/spamking.asp [wonker.com] -- this was covered here before though. Couldn't find the /. article...

Re:Well duh.. (1)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841193)

Actually, I think he's complaining that the cost of a good law (DMCA anyone?) is too high.

Why should some companies be able to buy these things but not him?

Tell Alan what you think! (1, Informative)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841238)

Alan M. Ralsky
6747 Minnow Pond Dr.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322-2663
248-926-0688
amr777@comcast.net

Re:Tell Alan what you think! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841445)

nice try asshole. that's cmdrtaco's home address, moderators!

All I can say is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841114)

DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!!!!

Well, ok maybe he doesn't deserve death. But he definitely deserves a very hefty fine and prison cell with Bubba.

Yeah... (1, Insightful)

Dthoma (593797) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841222)

...because we all know prison rape is fucking hilarious. I hate spammers as much as the next person, but calling for the brutal anal rape of Ralsky is disgusting, uncivilized, pointless, and, frankly, disturbing.

dumbass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841271)

He didn't say anything about prison rape.

Re:dumbass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841346)

You are either ignorant or sarcastic. What the hell do you think the reference to 'Bubba' means, asshat?

Re:dumbass (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841377)

Are you implying that everyone named bubba is a homosexual rapist?

Fucktard.

Re:All I can say is... (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841291)

Well color me radical, but im leaning toward death for him

Re:All I can say is... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841343)

Really? I'd go with death *by* prison cell with Bubba.

Re:All I can say is... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841386)

Where is the Unibomber now that we need him? :)

So that's why! (1)

MuckSavage (658302) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841116)

I can honestly say I've seen a slow down of spam over the last week. It was nice, too bad it won't last.

Re:So that's why! (1)

Rodrin (729362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841145)

It might have slowed down a little, but what does come though is usually the p0rn and illegal spam anyway. It's slowing, but only getting worse in quality...hmm..Quality of spam...hehe..

Re:So that's why! (1)

MrsPReDiToR (736605) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841203)

No slow down on my pc. Im still screaming at my Inbox "I dont need a penis extension fgs Im female!!"

I've had a 33% increase in the last week... (1)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841285)

I dunno what it is, but I've gone from 300 spams per day, to 400 pieces in the last week or so. Spammers trying to beat Jan 1st? Or a sudden increase in the number of relays that they've been able to use?

My question is whether the FTC is actually going to have the money to enforce anything. I guess we'll see, starting next week.

Re:So that's why! (1)

oneishy (669590) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841454)

I have recently noticed the same thing. Look at graphs of my incoming spam [inter-z.net] (red line)

I'm griping about not enough hot chicks here... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841118)

How can people say BSD [freebsd.org] is dying when it has a mascot [freebsd.org] like this?! Linux [debian.org] needs to get its act together if it's going to compete with the kind of hot chicks [hope-2000.org] and gorgeous babes [hope-2000.org] that BSD [openbsd.org] has to offer!

You just can't take Linux [redhat.com] seriously when its fronted by losers [nylug.org] like these. Would you buy software from them? I don't think so! You Linux [suse.com] groupies need to find some sexy girls like her [hope-2000.org] ! I mean just look at this girl [wigen.net] ! Doesn't she [pipboy2002.mine.nu] excite you? I know this little hottie [pipboy2002.mine.nu] puts me in need of a cold shower! This guy looks like he is about to cream his pants standing next to such a fox [spilth.org] . As you can see, no man can resist this sexy [spilth.org] little minx [spilth.org] . I mean are you telling me you wouldn't like to get your hands on this ass [dis.org] ?!

With sexy chicks [minions.com] like the lovely Ceren [dis.org] you could have people queuing up to buy open source products. Could you really refuse to buy a copy of BSD [netbsd.org] if she [dis.org] told you to? Come on, you must admit she [imagewhore.com] is better than an overweight penguin [tamu.edu] or a gay looking goat [gnu.org] ! Don't you wish you could get one of these [drexel.edu] ? Personally I know I would give my right arm to get this close [dis.org] to such a divine beauty [czarina.org] !

Join the campaign for more cute [pipboy2002.mine.nu] open source babes [pipboy2002.mine.nu] today!

Re:I'm griping about not enough hot chicks here... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841157)

All I can say is that if the BSD chicks are your idea of hot, you really, really need to get out more (or at all). Oy.

Re:I'm griping about not enough hot chicks here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841326)

okay, for the last time... Ceren isn't hot. She's average. Very very average. There are much hotter BSD babes [hope-2000.org] out there -- you only need to look!

Open Hunting Season (2, Funny)

Rodrin (729362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841119)

Hmm, looks like we need to set up a open hunting season on spammers. Too bad they don't taste too good, never was fond of SPAM myself.

What to do with the kill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841207)

Send the excess ones over to Korea, Spam with KimChee is eaten there often.

Re:What to do with the kill (1)

Rodrin (729362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841373)

Mmmm, I think we have ourselves a business! We can can the spammers after we skin them and ship them over in a nice little alluminum tin...somehow that sounds familar.

Re:Open Hunting Season (0)

TSNV (725282) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841381)

"I don't like SPAM!"

What an ass (5, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841123)

Wow.
"I personally hate mailing with proxies," he said. "It's rough. But you do what you got to do."
and
"I have changed the way we mail totally," he said. The spam fighters, he added, "have no idea what I'm mailing. They could never pinpoint it and say this is from Al Ralsky."


Ralsky said that he was uncomfortable about this deception, but that he had no choice. "Is putting bogus information in your registrations the right way to do business?" he asked. "No. But the Internet world has forced me to do that."
He doesn't seem to realize or care that what he's doing is wrong. It's like a mugger complaining, "Is putting on a ski mask the right way for me to make a living? No, but the world of people who don't wish to be robbed at gunpoint in a dark alley has forced me to do this."

Or,

"I personally hate clubbing old ladies over the head so I can snatch their purses. It's rough. But you do what you got to do."

I hope somebody clubs Al Ralsky over the head in a dark alley... Jerk.

Re:What an ass (3, Insightful)

dus (139697) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841226)

He doesn't seem to realize or care that what he's doing is wrong.

No, of course not. Someone like Ralsky is most likely a sociopath (Antisocial Personality Disorder [mentalhealth.com] ). He can't grasp the concept of responsibility for his actions.

Best to throw him in a dungeon and never let him out again, IMNSHO...

Re:What an ass (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841312)

I guess so. I think a good general rule for moral behavior (note, GENERAL RULE. That is, there are many, many exceptions...) is this: Would I like everybody else in the world to know I did this? If the answer is "no," then it's probably an immoral action. If he's having to deliberately hide his identity, that should be a good tip-off that what he's doing is a bad idea.

Re:What an ass (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841227)

Not only a jerk, but a lying jerk. It's hard for me to believe that of the 2700 spams I got last week (while on vacation and AFK) not a single one came from him. 400+ a day and none from the king? Well, what would it be if I was receiving trash from him?

I expect, as in other things Ralsky, that this line about computer problems and complying is nothing but bullshit and he's doing business as usual via other means. The man understands things and probably pays off those who know things he doesn't to make things possible for him.

Back when the pictures and story of the photographer broke on slashdot, he made some threats via untraceable cellphones. That suggests to me he's resourceful. That he's undoubtably made his fortune by now and keeps going suggests he's not just an arrogant bastard, but he's a greedy arrogant bastard. They'll probably name a public school or a street after him someday...

Unsubscribe (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841274)

I read this in my deadtree NYT this morning. In one part, he pats himself on the back for being an ethical spammer, and allowing his targets to opt out. He even went so far as to say, if you dont want my stuff, I dont want to send it to you.

Then, just a few column-inches later, there he is whining about the cost of setting up an opt-out mechanism now that he is being forced to do so. Sounds to me like a clear and blatant lie, and the reported didnt point bother to point it out.

Did publish it, though...

Re:What an ass (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841295)

You, sir, are an idiot.

You live in an age where you can't go to a supermarket without seeing ads on the floor. You dare compare physical violence with seeing unwanted emails in your inbox? Yo, I put in extra rules to rid my email of items referring to Fisting, Anal, Teens, etc.

Live with it.

Grow up.

Calling him an ass for those quotes wreaks of... (0)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841297)

Hypocrisy.

Now I no spam fan (is anyone?) but the man is doing what he has to do in his eyes. This goes in line with the earlier thread about commercial skipping. Many, many posts stated that its too bad so sad for the TV networks that they can skip commercials. The technology exists so commercial skipping is both legally and morally acceptable in those poster's opinions.

I don't see a difference. This guy is just doing what is technologically possible. By the same reason, you can't be mad at him for that. Think of this little piece of what he does as spam block skipping. Same thing, the shoe is just on the other foot. And its two sizes too small. And has a 4" heel.

What does it all mean? Watch for both sides to go toe-to-toe on the technology until everyone's rights on both sides are all f'ed up. Then the government will step in further and both sides will like the outcome even less. But hey, if both sides has used reason in the first place, see a few ads, get some stuff for free, maybe we wouldn't even be talking about any of this: spam, TV, pop-ups, anything. Noone will win now.

Re:Calling him an ass for those quotes wreaks of.. (2, Insightful)

Kevitt (640555) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841382)

It's not hipocrisy. When I skip a television ad, that's my right. You may argue that the only reason that the television program I'm watching even exists is because of advertising revenue. Know what? That's not my problem. I have NO contract with any advertisers, and no obligation to watch their drivel. I have no contract with any broadcasters, and no obligation to hold up their end of a bargain with said advertisers.

Broadcasters sell commercial spots on the basis that the advertising will be broadcast with the show, and offer the advertiser some sort of assurance that a certain demographic will be OFFERED that advertisement for viewing. However, I never said I'd watch it. Neither did you.

Now, spammers such as the dipshit in question here are literally STEALING bandwidth and cpu cycles from servers worldwide. They are INFECTING systems and using them as zombies to mail their crap. There is a world of difference between commercial skipping and theft.

As an aside here, Ralsky also says that we have no clue what he's mailing? Maybe I can't pinpoint mail-for-mail the ones that dipshit sends, but spam is spam and very recognizable no matter who it's from, whether it's a legit business, or a single spamming schmuck.

Re:Calling him an ass for those quotes wreaks of.. (0, Flamebait)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841450)

Wow, I thought one couldn't steal things that don't exist in physical form. If one can't steal things that aren't real, how could there be a theft? *Chink* What was that sound? The armor of slashbot think again.

Shoes on the other foot, shoes on the other foot...

1-800-WAA-AAHH! (4, Funny)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841130)

Call some one who gives a shit Alan Ralsky.

Interview (1)

dus (139697) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841132)

I'd like to interview him too. KGB-style...

Re:Interview (1)

Gman_NL (736694) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841206)

That is what i was thinking, especialy seeing his ugly head. I can't do an interview with such a person!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841134)

Shove a greased up Yoda doll in his ass!!!

Do it!

DO IT NOW!

Well, Frankly (1)

Locky (608008) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841135)

So called 'Legitimate' web advertising annoys me more then Spam.

Not being able to access sites because I'm apparantly a 'bandwidth theif' for blocking annoying popup ads is far more annoying then say, pressing the delete button a few times.

A question of volume. (1)

xC0000005 (715810) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841190)

Say you have a common alias, at a large domain name. The time spent blocking, fighting, dragging, deleting email (even with training filters) adds up. It adds up quickly. Particularly if you rely on email for fast communication and every SPAM that gets through is one less cycle on something more important. SPAM senders are bandwidth, CPU, and brain cycle theives.

Re:Well, Frankly (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841282)

Those sites are not worth seeing I think...

It's all in the tools (2, Interesting)

NSash (711724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841329)

If you're having problems with that, use a different popup blocker. Some tools [mozdev.org] can be configured to still load popups and blocked images, but not display them on your end. To the server, there is no way to tell the difference.

In Prison? (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841136)

I can't wait to see him wresting bread crusts from sea gulls in a K Mart parking lot. He's an excellent example of a selfish individual and capitalism at its worst.

In congress? Senate? No! Whitehouse! (4, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841221)

"He's an excellent example of a selfish individual and capitalism at its worst."

Sounds like the ideal candidate for President...

Re:In congress? Senate? No! Whitehouse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841259)

"He's an excellent example of a selfish individual and capitalism at its worst."


Sounds like the ideal candidate for President...


He hasn't taken enough drugs, yet.

Spammers and the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841143)

Now who was it that had originally noted that the death penalty was unconstitutional for spamming?? Perhaps we can get it ammended by popular consent!

Nice quote (1)

bdigit (132070) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841146)

"He calls the law unfair, but adds, "You would have to be stupid" to try to violate it." You would have to be stupid to call the law unfair. What you are doing is unfair to the millions of people you send SPAM to.

A few random thoughts... (1)

shri (17709) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841163)

>> "I create jobs. But the media has made e-mail out to be some sort of terrorist plot."

Goes back the argument (and please don't get on my case for quoting this) that guns dont kill people. People kill people.

I run a few niche sites in Hong Kong and have found that people are more than willing to open newsletters if they're filled with content (we fill ours with events calendars, reviews of restaurants etc) AND targetted special offers. Emails are working and they're working very well.

I wish I had an opportunity to tell Brendan Battles this... perhaps I should hit reply on one of the many viagra emails I get every hour.

Re:A few random thoughts... (1)

darnok (650458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841322)

>> "I create jobs.

Well, that much at least is true. I kinda figure this guy is directly responsible for the employment of many, many mail admins the world over.

Then, as that spam that gets through filters consumes the time of many millions of people, then he's also responsible for the employment of the extra people needed to cover the non-productivity of those who are reading his spam.

Finally, he's also responsible for employing those people who create filters for individual email clients. If Al and co. stopped sending spam, these people would be out on the street as well.

It'd be interesting to try to quantify this. Who knows? - maybe Al Ralsky is actually responsible for employing more people than (say) IBM employs. ...And he does it all without a word of thanks from any of us

Logically..... (5, Funny)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841170)

Spammers are stupid
+
Ralsky is a pammer
=
Ralsky is stupid

Ralsky is stupid
+
Ralsky says "it would be stupid to violate" [the law]
=
Ralsky will violate the law

But I'll bet you'd figured that out anyway.

Re:Logically..... (1)

bdigit (132070) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841340)

"Ralsky is a pammer"

does this mean Ralsky uses Pam on his pans to prevent sticking?

Re:Logically..... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841347)

Nope. He'll violate the spirit of the law without violating the letter of the law. CAN-SPAM has so many holes in it, it doesn't completely ban spam, just bans sending spam in certain ways.

As long as there's a way for Ralsky to send e-mail that isn't traceable back to him, there's no way to convict and punish him. Sounds like that's better fixed with tech instead of a law...

Re:Logically..... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841419)

Yeah, but does he weigh as much as a duck, and is he made out of wood? That's what I want to know.

I'm for anything that inconveniences spammers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841174)

They should give him community service equivalent to the sum of all the time wasted by people either deleting or replying to his spam.

Maybe that law isn't so badly written after all (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841178)

Not that I think for one second that Ralsky will actually abide by the law, but at least assuming that he does, it certainly warms my heart to know that finally, finally, a spammer is actually having to pay some out-of-pocket expenses for the privilege of making Mozilla Thunderbird do some work for me.

Back up a second, here.... (3, Insightful)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841179)

Wasn't CAN-SPAM meant to help spammers? I mean, it had loopholes large enough to fly a 747 through, for Christ's sakes.... so why is he complaining?

Re:Back up a second, here.... (2, Insightful)

cmowire (254489) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841302)

It is.

Just not Alan Ralsky. It's there to help folks like the DMA do *their* kinder, gentler spam. That it gets rid of the current competition is merely a side benefit that I'm sure they made some sizable campaign contributions to ensure.

Spammers were given a choice (2, Insightful)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841187)

There's a perfectly reasonable convention of prefixing adverts with [ADV] in the subject line so people who dont want to read them dont have to.

If they aren't going to play fair then i dont see why we should. We need to make sure that the financial penalties outweigh the potential profits to be made. If it's a small penalty per email sent, then it'd take a while to whittle away ralskys fortunes.

We need to make an example of people breaking these laws to act as a deterrent. Perhaps a 3 emails and your up for life in prison....

Send him off to Saudi Arabia... (1)

mousse-man (632412) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841188)

and the locals he's a goddamn thief and infidel. Chances are he'll never spam again.

Re:Send him off to Saudi Arabia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841463)

ralsky is a muslim.

That's nothing. These new laws. . . (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841192)

allowing people to opt-out of burglery, robbery, extortion and murder are killing me. I'm just trying to make a living. Do the law makers even realize that I have to let people go when they pass laws like this? It's costing jobs during an economic downturn. It doesn't make any sense.

On the other hand, the price controls on recreational drugs and prostitution are a partial compensation, but the state monopoly on gambling really put a crimp in my style.

What's the world coming to.

Well, at least I'm not a scum sucking spammer.

KFG

personally (4, Insightful)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841194)

I wouldn't give this prick a moment of time bothering to read what bs he has to say. I would like to say though, what makes anyone truly believe any law passed will stop spammers? It's different if you were sending fines to those who's products are being sold, but spammers are doing the same thing telemarketers, and flyer distributors do. Only more annoying.

What the hell does anyone think some low life e-tard in Nigeria or South America care about American laws and spam, nada. Zilch zip nada. The law is a farce and being that its coming close to election, I'm wondering if it was solely sent through for whoring purposes...

Alligator Tears (1)

Elias Ross (1260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841199)

Why would a criminal openly come out and say that the law is going put him in jail? It's highly unlikely "can spam" is going to adversely affect his so-called business. We don't know if him crying out is supposed to be a distraction or sympathy ploy, but we should be keeping both eyes on these creeps.

Re:Alligator Tears (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841434)

Ralsky admits using open relays and virus-infected...

Why would a criminal openly come out and say that the law is going put him in jail?


The real question is: Why would he openly admit to violating the law by using viruses? Isn't that illeagal in many countries, not just the US?

using other countries to send spam (1)

tokengeekgrrl (105602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841215)

"He has done business in two dozen countries, and has never visited any of them. He buys mailing lists from people in Sweden and India. And these days, he says, he sends his mail from computers in China and three other countries."

Won't all spammers who don't already email from other countries do so to get around the law? What can legally be done to stop or punish the spammers from doing this?

He says he's worried but I don't think he is at all. I think he's just playing to the press.

- tokengeekgrrl

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841224)

Ralsky admits using open relays and virus-infected PCs and not honoring unsubscribe lists

Well, if he admits to doing this after Jan 1, 2004, then it's off to jail with him.

I'd gladly donate a few bucks to a "Kill Spammers" foundation, anyone here agree?

alernate to unsubscribing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841241)

Wouldn't it almost be worth allowing ralksy to send his bulk e-mails to you and setting a filter to auto-delete anything with his details on?

That we he'd have to pay to send the e-mail (if a large multiple of people did this) - and it wouldn't cost anyone using a flat-fee isp.

If we can ruin his rates of return and success we can make spamming less worthwhile for him.

extra $3k for a "real" opt-out list? (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841243)

So what kinda opt-out list is being used now? The one that basically just ads your email back into the spam pile, i guess... that's really lame. Of COURSE you should have to use REAL opt-out! That's like car makers complaining that they should have to use "REAL" brakes, or that cigarette makers should have to use "REAL" package labeling.

Re:extra $3k for a "real" opt-out list? (1)

SoSueMe (263478) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841410)

So what kinda opt-out list is being used now?

The kind that says "We've got a live one!".

Hello? Feds? (1)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841258)

Why isn't this guy in jail? There's tons of evidence of him violating all sorts of laws. The FBI should pick him up now. It's a stain on the face of law enforcement that losers like this can go around bragging about committing crimes.

capitalism rules! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841265)

luckily, with republicans in office, my spamming is assured to continue because the laws that are written are for my corporation's benefit! we don't need anyone telling us how to run our business.

you guys need to wake up and understand who runs the show -- if you're receiving a paycheck from a corporation, you're a member of the working class.

those of us who write your checks realize the extreme importance of marketing, and we will stop at nothing to achieve it.

Re:capitalism rules! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841321)

Earth to idiot, Spamming was around the 8 years Bill Clinton was in office and he didn't do a damn thing about it.

The REAL Question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841279)

Why is Alan Ralsky still alive?

It's a good thing that he lives so far away, because HE would be DEAD, and I would (probably) be in PRISON!

It would STILL be worth it though! :)

Contact your AGs NOW (2, Informative)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841303)

Here is a list of the Attorney Generals [naag.org] around the country and the world. Everyone should contact their AG and demand that they prosecute these crimes. Until the public puts pressure on the authorities to enforce the crimes these spammers commit, nothing is going to change.

Re:Contact your AGs NOW (1)

rokzy (687636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841390)

The correct plural is "Attorneys General".

Make spam legal [shiver] (1, Interesting)

snkmoorthy (665423) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841313)

since we have a debate on our hands about legalizing drugs[marijuana, coke..], how about we legalize spam , companies can register,float public offerings. From the pro's side, it would make companies accountable for illegal access of other computers to send spam. This still doesn't mean that there wouldn't be rogue spammers. But if there is more money to be made and acceptance, big fishes will choose to register - may be charge these companies per packet basis, like the old days.

Laws can't fix something this broken. (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841316)

Security by law sits right next to security by obscurity on the list of things that help a bit, but by no means make a complete solution. Making spamming illegal isn't going to stop spammers, because sending spam by a virus-infected computer is already illegal since virus writing is illegal too... those laws haven't allowed us to stop running anti-virus programs, have they?

The bottom line is that SMTP has got to go. We need to get wide adoption of an e-mail protocol with authentication that the "from" address being claimed belongs to the sender of the message. That's the only way to make sure that spammers lose their ability to send e-mail without reprocussions. The face-value "from" address has to be much more relaiable than the current system lets it be.

Re:Laws can't fix something this broken. (1)

Jooly Rodney (100912) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841368)

For Christ's sake, please mod parent up.

Wait a second... (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841327)

The NY Times article said spammers had to identify themselves. How does a spam message have to identify itself? Can't we simply hit them with Bayesian filters more accurately?

Worst spammer? (5, Funny)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841331)

The New York Times has an interview with Alan Ralsky, commonly known as the world's worst spammer...Ralsky admits using open relays and virus-infected PCs and not honoring unsubscribe lists.

From that description it sounds like he's a pretty damn good spammer. The world's worst spammer is probably some guy trying to send spam through his AOL account.
  1. New e-mail
  2. Paste address
  3. Paste body
  4. Send e-mail
  5. Dismiss popup ad
  6. New e-mail
  7. etc etc
  8. Profit!
No, I think ol' Alan is good at what he does. Of course that's like arguing who was the best serial killer...

Alan's address (1)

mikek2 (562884) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841334)

From an older [slashdot.org] /. article:

ALAN M RALSKY
6747 MINNOW POND DR
WEST BLOOMFIELD, MI 48322

Dunno if this is accurate. But the address is only 8 miles from the town mentioned in the NYT article. Plausible.

Have a productive night [mail-order-catalogs.info] :)

Loophole (1)

hugesmile (587771) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841339)

Seems to me, all he needs to do is run for office, and he is safe from CAN SPAM.

I can see it now:

V.ote for me.... your V ia gra can.didate ___________________________________ xzpoasd

click here [goatse.com] to unsubscribe. (fake link on purpose)

Take the Spam Lists with You (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841348)

Spam sucks, that is a given. To me though, the asshats running the black lists are just as bad if not worse. It does not take much to get on those lists, and it is very difficult to get off. All it takes is a few complaints, whether they are legit or not does not seem to matter. One email to your ISP or web host and they will drop your account in a hurry, especially if you are on a shared server. They cannot afford to have systems blacklisted, period. It is easier to just drop the offender and get off of the black list than it is to investigate and see if a real infraction occurred. You try running a business online, and you will see for yourself how you cringe everytime you send a newsletter out, whether opt-in or not.

What I don't get... (1)

jfdawes (254678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841349)

Is how this guy is making money out of this at all. Who reads this stuff? No-one! The amount of emails sent that actually arrive, are read and then acted on has to be approaching zero. Or is he just charging advertisers $500 per million for email that no-one reads? $500 that the brain-dead advertisers keep blithely paying simply because he sends them an invoice every month?

Are you talking about Bill Brasky??? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841350)

Hell yeah, I know Bill Brasky! He's a big fella, goes about 6'4", 280. He loves his Scotch!

So HE thinks it's unfair...?! (2, Insightful)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841371)

Good Lord above... What about the millions of private E-mail boxes, privately-owned servers, and God only knows how many other computing resources, belonging to other people, that Ralsky and his spamming butt-buddies have already abused, and CONTINUE to abuse in some cases?

I would be very interested in hearing how "fair" the owners of all those resources think the new law is. Oh, granted, said law is far from perfect. However, if it helps to force criminals like Ralsky out of business for good, I will be the first to give it a round of applause.

Ralsky's misguided belief that he has any right at all to abuse property that does not belong to him is typical of the spammer mindset. The sooner he, Scotty 'Snotty' Richter, Eddy Marin, and all their spamming ilk get shut down permanently, the better off the Internet will be.

Why don't one of you coders just.... (1)

richeddy (620631) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841384)

...write a nifty little program that will check my spam folder and then simulate a click thru to the websites that are being pitched? Seems that if we all did this, those servers would be bombarded with hits thus killing the viability of spam as an advertising method.

Sigh.. RTFA (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841388)

"Ralsky admits ... not honoring unsubscribe lists"

no, it doesn't say that at all. at least, not in the article. In fact, it says just the opposite.

I feel sorry for him (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841399)

This is a man who came up with a way to make a living for himself doing nothing wrong. There is nothing wrong at all with trying to support yourself as a spammer. The if people don't like it they will try and stop you by vilifing you, and doing anything they can to disrupt the distribution of your product. Look at Big Tabacco for example there have been some regulations but for the most part, its been a smear campaigns, public opinion and education working most strongly against them. The only difference is the spammers don't have multibillion dollar war chests to lobby with and protect them from crap laws. Letting Uncle Sam regulate much of anything is a generally a bad idea. He does not understand what he is doing because all the career politicians that make him up need a good smack with the clue bat, I don't care what party they belong too, I am not aware of anyone in Washington who has not either been there too long or should never have been eleceted at all. Remember slashbots these are mostly the same folks who brought you great ideas like DMCA, Campain Finance reforme, Orange Alerts, the Patriot act, ignored an offer to have Bin Ladden turned over to us, etc, etc. Turst me these are not they guys you want to encorage to play in the tech-sector.

If you don't want some spamers crap flowing over your network do something for yourself for a change, drop a few packets, install a filter.

Aww, poor baby... (1)

Tyrdium (670229) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841400)

"The law was not written for a commercial e-mailer," he said. "I don't think what they are doing is fair."
Poor, poor Ralsky... He doesn't like a law that was made because people like him are assholes... Oh, and I don't think having my inbox filled up by spam messages to the point where I can't recieve mail is very "fair", either. What was that quote I heard? Oh yeah, I think it went, "life isn't fair." I guess you have to feel a little sorry for the guy. It must be hard, knowing you're the scum of scum... ;)

Ralsky isn't the problem... (4, Insightful)

Cranx (456394) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841417)

...he's just a symptom. Imprison him and someone else will pick up his lost business contacts and opportunities. U.S. laws will simply mean his revenue taxes will go to some other country.

What we need is to get rid of the "demand" end of this issue. Tighten up email so it requires at least some level of authorization to send to someone else, even if it's just by having a certificate of trust or something.

I didn't mean to kill the family... (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841421)

The saddest thing is he uses the same excuse as the spouse batterer, the child molester, and the fascist ruler:
Mr. Ralsky said that he was uncomfortable about this deception, but that he had no choice. "Is putting bogus information in your registrations the right way to do business?" he asked. "No. But the Internet world has forced me to do that."

Why do people still think this is a valid excuse. I am sorry I killed my husband but he didn't use a coaster. I am sorry i killed my child but she kept crying. I am sorry I killed one million people, but they were in the way.

No one makes you do something. You make a choice. You make a choice to go to school or not. You make a choice to go to work or not. You make a choice to live an honest life or not. You make the choice, and you should be man or woman enough to stand by them and take responsibility. Not be yet another sorry excuse for a human and say "I don't recall" or "I didn't know" or "I was ordered to".

No, actually, he does not admit all that (1)

itwerx (165526) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841438)

"Ralsky admits using open relays and virus-infected PCs and not honoring unsubscribe lists."

Unless we're reading different articles (I read both of the ones linked) he only admits to using open relays and he specifically states that he does honor unsubscribe requests.
As for virus-infected PC's the closest he comes to anything even remotely resembling that is this quote:
"I have changed the way we mail totally," he said. The spam fighters, he added, "have no idea what I'm mailing. They could never pinpoint it and say this is from Al Ralsky."

So WTF...?

(Not to say I wouldn't like to see him burn in hell though :).

Is he real? (1)

Cpl Laque (512294) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841447)

I am beginning to think Ralsky doesn't even exist. He is just a made up entity for us to laugh at. Kinda like SCO.

Virus infected mailers? (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 10 years ago | (#7841457)

Someone please tell me why this person is not in prison for spreading viruses? He should share a cell with the kid who modified the MSBlaster worm to steal info.

I hate spam... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7841464)

But I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for anyone who hasn't murdered someone who is targeted by the state.

The idea that the government can save us from everything we dislike is an absolute obscenity.
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