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Spammer Scott Levine Convicted

CowboyNeal posted about 9 years ago | from the into-the-big-house dept.

Spam 266

bani writes "Spammer Scott Levine was convicted of massive data theft from Acxiom Corporation. Prosecutors say his company, the now-defunct Snipermail.com, stole 1.6 billion customer records from Acxiom and sold the data. He faces a maximum of 640 years in prison under the law, though he will likely be sentenced to far less. One spammer down, several million to go?"

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266 comments

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640 Years (0, Redundant)

kdark1701 (791894) | about 9 years ago | (#13310948)

I think its safe to say he won't be serving that long, one way or another.

Re:640 Years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310973)

Unless they freeze him in a cryogenic chamber only to bring him back to combat an escaped spammer who can't be stopped by the local authorities... Woe the tales of the future San Angeles...

Re:640 Years (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310986)

...ought to be enough for anyone.

Re:640 Years (1)

praedictus (61731) | about 9 years ago | (#13311012)

Naw, confirms my belief that spammers are bloodsucking vampires. Should just put a wooden stake through his heart.

Re:640 Years (1)

vettemph (540399) | about 9 years ago | (#13311325)

Should just put a wooden stake through his heart.
Very, very slowly. Perhaps over the course of a year.

Have Jews ever been anything but parasites? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311317)

Mr. Levine (j) was simply acting like any other member of his tribe. Prosecuting him is racist and anti-semitic.

They should be lienient on him (4, Insightful)

smartin (942) | about 9 years ago | (#13310951)

Only give him 1/10th of the maximum.

The problem with computers (1, Insightful)

John Seminal (698722) | about 9 years ago | (#13311098)

In the old days, if you wanted to frustrate someone, it took time, and you did it 1 on 1. With computers, 1 person can annoy the hell out of thousands of people at once. For example- In 1980 if I wanted to defraud someone out of money, I had to find a gullible person, work at convincing them that my con was legit. Today, People send out thousands of emails and the gullible go to them!

So what will happen with this guy in jail? I can just see the conversation-

Scott: I'm new here
Inmate #1: I'm in armed robbery. Motherfuckers locked me up for 12 god damn years. Can you believe that shit?
Inmate #2: I'm in for not paying child support for 8 years, and not paying taxes. I have to serve two years. Can you believe what the bitch did to me, the father of her kids? Inmate #3: I'm in because the bitch said I raped her. She was all "yes, yes, yes". Bitch set me up. Can you believe this shit? Hey, Scott, what are you in for?
Scott: I got 640 years. I sent out millions of emails offering people a breakthrough product that enlarges penis size.
Inmates #1, #2, and #3 (all together): Aaa... yay. We gonna get along just fine.
Inmate #2 talking to Inmate #3: You hold his head in the toilet while I prop his ass up.
Inmate #1: You gonna forget about me? What does a brother have to do to get some props. Gimme a piece of that creamy white ass.
Scott (heard through the bubbles comming out of the toilet water: Oh, shit!

I don't want to defend spammers. But did society make a toy (computers) that can no cause massive harm to many people (spam), and society did not make any safegaurds. Look at script kiddes. Download and run, it takes no brains. I hate to say it, but people are very stupid. And if you get a stupid person that is desperate, they just might become a spammer. Who wants to spend out their whole life in a 2 bedroom trailer home in a crappy area with savages? The lure to riches can be hard to resist.

And how do we sentance a wrong do'er? Do we sentance based on each act, that every single peice of email is a seperate offense? Or do we sentance based on the whole of what he did? For example, if someone rapes one person, that is very different than if someone rapes 10 people. But what about spam?

I think if they made a BIG example out of him, took away all his money, sent him to prision for 2 years, and humiliated him, that would be a detterent. Look at Martha Stewart. How much money did she steal? I would like to compare numbers in terms of monitary loss.

I wonder if there is a way to change email, so before any email is passed on, there is some visual confermation that has to be entered by the sender. Kinda like joining a forum. Hopefully that will stop the mass emails.

Re:The problem with computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311128)

Yes. Prison rape is funny. Like any rape.

Asshole (and that goes for all of you who keep making "You know why it's called the 'slammer', dude?"'-jokes)!

mod parent overrated (-1, Flamebait)

nacturation (646836) | about 9 years ago | (#13311141)

What does your post have to do with the parent post other than that you wanted it to appear high on the comments page? Your post is neither funny nor interesting and should be modded overrated because you don't have the balls to start your own thread.
 

Re:grandmod parent funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311198)

What does your post have to do with the parent post... Your post is neither funny nor interesting.


It's the humor thread, dipstick asshole. And yes, I did italicize asshole for added comic effect.


I found the grandfathers post funny. Nothing better than gang rape in a prision for a few chuckles. Don't you know why we send so many black people to jail? Well, to get them off the street. But also to terrorize the white people we lock up. It is a deterrent against misusing intellect.

Re:The problem with computers (2, Interesting)

dave_mcmillen (250780) | about 9 years ago | (#13311244)

And how do we sentance a wrong do'er? Do we sentance based on each act, that every single peice of email is a seperate offense? Or do we sentance based on the whole of what he did? For example, if someone rapes one person, that is very different than if someone rapes 10 people. But what about spam?

This is a good point. The law seems to be intent on treating computer-related offences identically with "physical" crimes, although the notion of number of counts makes much less sense in the electronic context.

The same reasoning that brings us a potential 640 year verdict for a spammer (yay!) also leads to kids being subjected to $100 billion lawsuits (boo!). If you can do something online once, you can set it up to be done 1000 times -- is that a single offence, or 1000 of them?

What about blind people? (2, Funny)

tepples (727027) | about 9 years ago | (#13311289)

I wonder if there is a way to change email, so before any email is passed on, there is some visual confermation that has to be entered by the sender.

Then the League for the Blind presses charges, you go to jail for violating the Rehabilitation Act and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (or foreign counterparts), and once you're in prison, you get sexually assaulted by a blind man.

Re:The problem with computers (1)

iminplaya (723125) | about 9 years ago | (#13311333)

For example, if someone rapes one person, that is very different than if someone rapes 10 people.

Why?

frist psot? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310953)

frist psot!

Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310956)

Meanwhile, back in the States, murders and rapists are given 5-10 year terms and are out in 3...

Re:Meanwhile... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310980)

Meanwhile, back in the States, murderers and rapists rarely affect 1.6 billion people in one go.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

mindwar (708277) | about 9 years ago | (#13311031)

Meanwhile, back in the rest of the world getting some junk email isnt that serious as getting killed.

Re:Meanwhile... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311060)

Meanwhile, back on Slashdot we don't give the fuck about you.

Re:Meanwhile... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311118)

If this guy cost every person who he spammed one minute of their lives why shouldn't he be be responsible??? Lets (conservatively) say he cost 1 minute x 100 million recipients, thats 100 million minutes of life that he cost others, or over 190 years.
He has wasted 190 years of resources that may have been spent on more productive or fulfilling purposes. I think that is a big deal.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

moonbender (547943) | about 9 years ago | (#13311139)

That's not a conservative guess. Maybe for the number of recipients it is, I don't know. Keep in mind that the actual number of recipients is lower than the number of mails he sent out, because not every address spammers use actually exist. Then the number of mails that actually reached people without being caught by spam filters is still lower, a LOT lower most likely. Those relatively (!) few mails that reached actual people still wouldn't have caused them to lose 1 minute of their lives. How long does it take you to dismiss a mail as spam? Not more than a few seconds, maybe not even that.

Hey, not that I'm defending this guy. Just trying to help in making a reasonable guess about the lost time due to him.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | about 9 years ago | (#13311329)

It's a very conservative guess, since it just counts the time of people who deleted it, and not the amounts of money lost by people who actually bought shit as a result of all the spam.

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

mindwar (708277) | about 9 years ago | (#13311164)

i spend WAY much time reading slashdot and not beeing productive then deleting a few spams. well unless the spam filters dont alredy do it for me. you honnestly believe this guy is that much more guilty then some guy who stabed his wife 50 times? dont get me wrong. im hate spam and spammers they should pay for what they do. its just that i dont think stuff like this (and other computer related crimes) is more serious then murders/rape.

Real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311145)

Hey iconoclast, every time I look out there all I see is blood and bodies, raving evangelical right wing loonies, war pimps, fat greedy monsters, control-freak technological ignorati, smug grinning liars, thieves and snakeoil sellers.

Exactly the riff-raff and human ditritus I always hoped would stay out of my 'digital world', which is somewhat what this story is about.

Please - Don't even open the window, nevermind the door.

Come in here and play. All we do is throw a few harmless network packets at each other, but if you don't like the ambience don't let the door hit your ass on the way out ;)

btw I had a peep yesterday, Iran and Venezeula getting very interesting, and still an ever growing pile of bodies in Iraq, it's disgusting what fails to make our mainstream media.

Re:Real world (0, Offtopic)

deesine (722173) | about 9 years ago | (#13311162)


Iran and Venezeula getting very interesting, and still an ever growing pile of bodies in Iraq, it's disgusting what fails to make our mainstream media.

What possible reason would you have for expecting better? Are you 20 years old?

Re:Meanwhile... (1)

rinkjustice (24156) | about 9 years ago | (#13311089)

Meanwhile, back in the States, murderers and rapists rarely affect 1.6 billion people in one go.

Very likely, you and I both have been affected by this man Scott Levine. Even our mothers have been spammed directly or indirectly by this greedy crook. But do you have any scars? Are any of us haunted from the experience and receiving therapy for what he's done? He's been convicted of personal data theft, but have you been any more than inconvenience in an ancillary way? I doubt it.

Yeah, he deserves time in the clink. but serve more time than serial killers and dangerous re-offending rapists? Feh.

640 years? (3, Insightful)

Qnaal (730656) | about 9 years ago | (#13310959)

i'm pretty sure noone has ever had to serve more than around 200 years in prison

A real prison sentence. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310967)

They should put him in prison and make him write out every e-mail he ever sent with a pencil and paper. He gets out of jail whenever he is finished.

Re:A real prison sentence. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311115)

Or they could just make him send Pen1s Enlargement mails to the guy pounding his ass.

I'm sure that would be fun.

640 years?! (5, Insightful)

42Penguins (861511) | about 9 years ago | (#13310972)

From TFA:
"We're very pleased with the outcome. We think it's the appropriate verdict," U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins said outside U.S. District Court.

As much as I dislike spammers, is 640 years appropriate for one man? He didn't even kill anyone. Maybe he should have gotten something more brutal, like 64000 hours of community service...as a tech support operator!

Re:640 years?! (1)

cperciva (102828) | about 9 years ago | (#13311016)

As much as I dislike spammers, is 640 years appropriate for one man?

Remember that the US legal system likes the idea of consecutive sentences. 640 years would be roughly 12 seconds per customer record stolen.

Re:640 years?! (2, Insightful)

bani (467531) | about 9 years ago | (#13311019)

Murderers generally only affect a few people. He affected 1.6 _billion_, not to mention the massive economic damages he inflicted with his spamming operation.

Re:640 years?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311078)

Massive economic damage? Give me a break. If there really was economic damage to 1.6 billion people he'd be sending me a check. Spam doesn't hurt anyone.

Re:640 years?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311080)

stfu you spammer

Re:640 years?! (1)

MirrororriM (801308) | about 9 years ago | (#13311035)

As much as I dislike spammers, is 640 years appropriate for one man? He didn't even kill anyone. Maybe he should have gotten something more brutal, like 64000 hours of community service...as a tech support operator!

I agree. I hate spammers just as much as the next person, but computer crime sentences can get way out of hand. I think the punishment should be related to the crime. It would be much different if he DDoS'd a hospital network or something, which could've costed lives, but this is spam...more of an annoyance than anything.

As far as the 64000 hours of community service goes, something like that is a good idea. Don't just make him any tech support operator though...make him go to work as an AOL tech support operator. Mwahahaha!

Re:640 years?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311052)

Sorry, I have to disagree (except with your joke at the end). This is a story about a sociopath - plain and simple. My view? Go straight to hell, boy. He lives his life and built a fortune on the complete disregard of his fellow man. In my opinion, it was only a matter of time before someone got in his way and he did kill them or have them killed, because that is how sociopaths think.

I don't believe murderers, rapists, pederasts or any other variety of sociopaths and psychopaths should *ever* be released once society has them in custody. Period. Let all the potheads out of the jails and they'll be plenty of room.

This guy *should* be put away for life. So should Darl McBride, another sociopath.

Just my 2 cents!

Sentence? Just Hit Delete! (5, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | about 9 years ago | (#13311064)

> As much as I dislike spammers, is 640 years appropriate for one man? He didn't even kill anyone.

He didn't? Let's assume (conservatively), that he sent out one spam per customer record he stole. 1.6 billion spams. Let's further assume that it takes a human being one second to "Just Hit Delete". 1.6 billion person-seconds wasted. 444,444 person-hours wasted. 18,518 person-days wasted. 50 person-years if you're working 24/7. At 8 hours a day, that's the entire productive lifespan of three people. Three lives - stolen just as effectively as if he'd killed them.

> Maybe he should have gotten something more brutal, like 64000 hours of community service...as a tech support operator!

64,000 hours, at 8 hours a day, is 40000 days, or 218 years, so you're not too far off the 640-year mark.

640 years ought to be enough for anybody, but what I'd really like to see is to have him locked in a cell, "Just Hitting Delete", once for every spam he sent, for 16 waking hours a day.

Four or five times a day, an email with a From: line like "Your Warden", "Health Services", or "Cafeteria" with a Subject: line such as "Extended recreation hours!", "Take a break!", or "Lunchtime!" will appear.

He has to reply to this mail to get an hour of exercise, have his medical checkups, or his meals.

Hey, it's just spam, right? Doesn't hurt anyone, right? Just delete it, right? Well, if he hasn't starved to death when he runs out of 1.6 billion spams on which to Just Hit Delete, he can walk away a free man.

Re:Sentence? Just Hit Delete! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311124)

Well, I lose several minutes a day by having to use crappy, broken Microsoft products at work. Some days a couple hours. If I'm average, couple minutes a day times the number of MS users should but Bill away for a loooong time!

Posted anonymously, I don't like MS because of the crappy products, not because it is /. cool.

PS. Isn't 64,000 hours divided by 8 hours/day more like 8,000 days (~22 years)? Not 40,000 days.

Re:Sentence? Just Hit Delete! (1)

noidentity (188756) | about 9 years ago | (#13311199)

"but what I'd really like to see is to have him locked in a cell, "Just Hitting Delete", once for every spam he sent, for 16 waking hours a day.

[...]

He has to reply to this mail to get an hour of exercise, have his medical checkups, or his meals."


I just have to say, I think this is brilliant! You could make it even more realistic by having a few important messages hidden in the bunch, containing a code he needs to gain access to the meal etc. This way he has to read the spam just to be sure it's not an important message. Such a fitting revenge.

Re:Sentence? Just Hit Delete! (1)

Darby (84953) | about 9 years ago | (#13311274)

You could make it even more realistic by having a few important messages hidden in the bunch, containing a code he needs to gain access to the meal etc.

Go back and read the second paragraph that you quoted. That was exactly his idea.

Re:Sentence? Just Hit Delete! (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 9 years ago | (#13311287)

In my opinion, The problem with spam isn't the time it takes up. The basic issue is it's extremely rude. The first time someone sent a spam, he was punished. I complained to the ISP of the sender when I was receiving one spam every few months.

They're using a resource that I provide for communication with friends and trying to sell me something. It's just extrmely bad manners.

Re:Sentence? Just Hit Delete! (2, Insightful)

deesine (722173) | about 9 years ago | (#13311315)


Spam used to be a big problem for me until I stopped using Outlook and started using Thunderbird. Dealing with spam used to take minutes, now only seconds. Really, just about 10-30 seconds to identify the bad mail that Thunderbird's filter didn't catch.

Is it not the same for you?

I'm not defending, or apologizing for this guy. I'm just saying that you seem to be making a very big deal about something that, for most of us, isn't taking more than a minute a day to deal with.

By your sentencing formula, shouldn't hackers, virus writers and script kiddies be getting a lot more time than they are now? I mean, how many productivity hours are lost every year due to a virus [com.com] ?

I empathize with you. I'll never forgive George Lucas for the two hours of my life wasted watching SWI.

Re:Sentence? Just Hit Delete! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311326)

Excellent post (my reaction was that you deserve your low UID). Just be careful that you don't stray into RIAA math. For instance, how many people manually delete spam anymore? How does it differ from dozens of other forms of ads that are considered ok?

But,as you point out, with the volume these spammers do it adds up really quickly. They do some real damage, a little bit at a time (there's a use for integral calculus for you). I hope they throw away the key.

Re:640 years?! (1)

Esteban (54212) | about 9 years ago | (#13311261)

He was referring to the verdict (guilty on the relevant counts) not the sentence. He wasn't claiming that 640 years is an appropriate sentence. As the article says, the actual sentence will be much less (and the prosecutor knows this).

As an aside, these extremely long sentences (3 life terms, etc.) are frequently given because they affect when people can get out on parole.

A question about the justice system (0, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | about 9 years ago | (#13310974)

This is definitely off-topic but I will ask never the less.

There are individuals sentenced to [jail] terms far exceeding the time they are expected to be alive.

Does the state keep their bodies once they die in jail in order to meet the terms of the sentence?

Re:A question about the justice system (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310985)

You can't really be that stupid, can you?

Re:A question about the justice system (1)

42Penguins (861511) | about 9 years ago | (#13310988)

If you're being serious: Say one guys kills 10 people, and they give him 10 life sentences. That way, if one is reversed, he's still in there for 9 others. A way to make sure they're in there their whole lives. If you're joking: They shock them over and over to keep them technically alive until the time is up.

No (1)

HBI (604924) | about 9 years ago | (#13311113)

In the federal system, the Bureau of Prisons turns over the corpse to the family for interrment according to their wishes. Upon death their responsibility to incarcerate you ends. Same deal in the state systems, but different mechanics.

Re:A question about the justice system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311084)

Kinda makes you wonder if any have gotten off for good behavior that way

Re:A question about the justice system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311298)

Actually, those individuals generally get their sentences reduced for good behavior.

640 years (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310977)

... should be enough for anyone.

*thud*

Re:640 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311074)

I, for one, do no welcome our imortal spam overlords.

It'd still be a victory (4, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13310981)

Every spammer that goes to jail for his actions is a victory. For one, it's quite well-known that most of the spam we see today originates from a relatively small group of people, so it's not exactly "one down, several more million to go"; and also, even if there were considerably more, the mere fact that they now know that they might go to jail for spamming just might be a deterrent. Spamming is pretty much a textbook example of whitecollar crime, and it's been shown that unlike with bluecollar crime (that is, more physical crimes, like assault, rape, robbery etc.), prison sentences actually do serve as a deterrent here.

Remember, spammers are cowards - and greedy cowards, for that matter. They do what they do to get rich quick, so the prospect losing their money in lawsuits and possibly going to jail afterwards will scare them quite a bit.

640 years? (1)

jsebrech (525647) | about 9 years ago | (#13310989)

What is it with computing and the number 640?

Re:640 years? (1)

erkokite (862532) | about 9 years ago | (#13311048)

It's the sum of 2 perfect squares.

sentencing (2, Funny)

unfunk (804468) | about 9 years ago | (#13310990)

I can just imagine it now...

"You are hereby sentenced to 640 years in jail, with parole in nine months"

ah, the law is an ass..

Re:sentencing (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | about 9 years ago | (#13311013)

he will argue that he hasn't stolen any more email address at said parole hearing and get a few hundred years off his sentence.

Even so.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13310992)

The thought of him getting sentanced to a prison term gives me warm fuzzies, knowing there is a strong chance he will experiance the longest night of his life.

Far less?? (1)

line.at.infinity (707997) | about 9 years ago | (#13310998)

He faces a maximum of 640 years in prison under the law, though he will likely be sentenced to far less.

250 years?

Not Millions (4, Informative)

terrencefw (605681) | about 9 years ago | (#13310999)

According to the ROKSO list there's only really a hundred or so Levines and Richters out there. They are collectively responsible for a huge percentage of all the spam though. The rest is sent by amateur spammers sending to a few tens of thousands of people. The real spammers on the ROKSO list have databases of 1 billion + addresses.

sentence (1)

qda (678333) | about 9 years ago | (#13311002)

maybe they should sentence him to reading every single one of his spam mails out loud to himself

Silence of The Lambs (1)

erkokite (862532) | about 9 years ago | (#13311004)

I wonder if Scott Levine is related in anyway to Ted Levine of Silence(Buffalo Bill) of the Lambs...

Heh. (2, Funny)

James A. D. Joyce (742507) | about 9 years ago | (#13311005)

At first I thought the article title was referring to Levin, the founder of IRC network Freenode. He spams a lot too - he's constantly making wallop messages begging for cash to support the network because his lazy ass can't get a job.

Billy says... (3, Funny)

unfunk (804468) | about 9 years ago | (#13311006)

"640 years should be enough for anyone"

640 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311224)

Hey, it's not like he defrauded people of $11 billion dollars or something.

Re:Billy says... (1, Redundant)

rolfwind (528248) | about 9 years ago | (#13311243)

"Billy says 640 years should be enough for anyone"

To boot Microsoft Vista or just to wait for Longhorn to come out?

640 years ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311011)

Ought to be enough for anyone.

Selling/buying stolen goods (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311017)

He was convicted of stealing data. Then he sold that stolen data. All his customers should be also charged, for buying stolen data.
There are two to tango: spammers can work only with the support of their customers.

Oh did he really? (-1, Flamebait)

IversenX (713302) | about 9 years ago | (#13311022)

I hate to have to say this, but I seriously doubt he "stole the data", as it were.

It's not that he couldn't have stolen the data. Maybe he cracked the server, copied the data and then deleted their copy, or he stole a physical backup tape of the data, or whatnot.

But he probably didn't. He probably made a copy of the data, and used that copy to be a complete tool, with his like-minded tool-headed spammer friends.

(did I mention that I didn't like spammers?)

Re:Oh did he really? (3, Insightful)

dwlovell (815091) | about 9 years ago | (#13311053)

Stealing is not exclusively defined as depriving someone else of something that belongs to them.

Most children know that stealing is taking something that does not belong to you, regardless of whether it is a copy or the original item.

Stealing has a lot to do with intent as well. If I take the wrong coat at a restaurant, I deprived it from someone else, but I didn't have the intent to do so, so it isn't stealing.

Besides, even by your deifinition, it IS stealing. The records were private, once they were copied, the company was deprived of its secrecy/privacy of those records. Same as stealing a password.

-David

Prison rape isn't funny (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311029)

Unless it happens to a spammer.

Yes, global karmic payback can be a bitch. Have a nice life, future goatse.

Well, if the dude (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | about 9 years ago | (#13311040)

Well, if the dude ripped 1.6 bn customer records, what will it cost to verify, update, and restore those records?

Re:Well, if the dude (1)

wkitchen (581276) | about 9 years ago | (#13311105)

Well, if the dude ripped 1.6 bn customer records, what will it cost to verify, update, and restore those records?
That's easy. Just send an email asking each of the 1.6G addressees to confirm their personal information using a web form.

"Theft" (1)

Drew Curtis (904851) | about 9 years ago | (#13311051)

Although most of us would be hesitant to say this, in -this- situation (as it's not a warez bust), what he did wasn't theft - he didn't delete the data from their drives after he took it - so it's something, albeit not right, other than theft. I say this because proper terminology precedes proper logic which precedes a just system.

Re:"Theft" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311349)

Although most of us would be hesitant to say this, in -this- situation (as it's not a warez bust), what he did wasn't theft - he didn't delete the data from their drives after he took it - so it's something, albeit not right, other than theft. I say this because proper terminology precedes proper logic which precedes a just system.

Even though public data cannot be stolen, e.g a published idea, private data can still be stolen, because you are robbing someone of their exclusive control.

POLL: what do you call 50 spammers in jail? (3, Funny)

Tomster (5075) | about 9 years ago | (#13311054)

1. A good start.
2. Not nearly enough.
3. What's wrong with a firing squad?
4. You mean those Pen1s En1argement Pi11s don't work???

Re:POLL: what do you call 50 spammers in jail? (1)

wkitchen (581276) | about 9 years ago | (#13311120)

5. 50 cheap dates for "Bubba".

Re:POLL: what do you call 50 spammers in jail? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311230)

> 5. 50 cheap dates for "Bubba".

Yeah, but what the hell kind of atrocity did poor Bubba have to commit in order to deserve the punishment of having to ream out the bungholes of 50 spammers? :)

The problem (4, Insightful)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | about 9 years ago | (#13311055)

The problem is, that most spammers are seen in the 'industry' (so to speak) as some of the best paid, their earnings from the illegal mailings dwarf what some porn websites make in a day, and that can be huge

As long as their is money in it, people will try their hardest to do it. It will be very hard to stop in the end, as for every spammer who goes down... 10 new kids with a copy of a mailing script pop up.

What would be better is taking down the companies who fund the illegal mail by paying comissions on the products advertised, no spammer would risk jail if they weren't getting paid.

We're talking... (1)

jvollmer (456588) | about 9 years ago | (#13311056)

We're talking about a FEDERAL 'pound me in the ass' prison.

If it's not Consolidated Lint it's just fuzz!

Re:We're talking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311229)

" We're talking about a FEDERAL 'pound me in the ass' prison."

Then perhaps he better not have had any potential cell mates purchase his penis enlargement or stay longer pills then, eh?

And Acxiom was charged with..? (4, Insightful)

loggia (309962) | about 9 years ago | (#13311065)

So Acxiom lost 1.6 billion private records... what were they charged with for such shoddy security?

How much did they pay consumers for not protecting their data..?

What new standards did they have to agree to with the government..?

What happened to Axciom? (2, Interesting)

theCoder (23772) | about 9 years ago | (#13311066)

It's great to see a spammer taken down. But what about this Axciom company? According to the article, Axciom "serves large corporations by collecting and managing information for marketing purposes". Maybe they don't spam directly, but it sure sounds like they at least help spammers. And probably not just email spammers, but telephone and snail mail, as well. And apparently they're storing "personal customer records, including names, postal and e-mail addresses, bank and credit card numbers." [ephasis mine] Why does one company have so much information on so many people? And why when they are negligent with that data, do they not face any consequences?

The article seemed to imply that the snipermail spammers initially got access to more records than they were supposed to have because of something Axciom did (this isn't clear) before they started breaking passwords to get even more data. Where are the 600+ year prison terms for the Axciom management?

Obligatory quote (0, Redundant)

rob_squared (821479) | about 9 years ago | (#13311072)

"640 years ought to be enough for anyone."

obligitory quote (-1, Redundant)

jeffehobbs (419930) | about 9 years ago | (#13311075)


"640 years should be enough for anyone."

~jeff

Oblig. (-1, Troll)

metternich (888601) | about 9 years ago | (#13311077)

This story suggests a ( ) technical (x) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.) ( ) Spammers can easily use it to harvest email addresses ( ) Mailing lists and other legitimate email uses would be affected (x) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money ( ) It is defenseless against brute force attacks ( ) It will stop spam for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with it ( ) Users of email will not put up with it ( ) Microsoft will not put up with it ( ) The police will not put up with it (x) Requires too much cooperation from spammers ( ) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once ( ) Many email users cannot afford to lose business or alienate potential employers ( ) Spammers don't care about invalid addresses in their lists ( ) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business Specifically, your plan fails to account for ( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it ( ) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email ( ) Open relays in foreign countries ( ) Ease of searching tiny alphanumeric address space of all email addresses ( ) Asshats (x) Jurisdictional problems ( ) Unpopularity of weird new taxes ( ) Public reluctance to accept weird new forms of money ( ) Huge existing software investment in SMTP ( ) Susceptibility of protocols other than SMTP to attack ( ) Willingness of users to install OS patches received by email ( ) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes ( ) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches (x) Extreme profitability of spam ( ) Joe jobs and/or identity theft ( ) Technically illiterate politicians ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with spammers ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with Microsoft ( ) Extreme stupidity on the part of people who do business with Yahoo ( ) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves ( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering ( ) Outlook and the following philosophical objections may also apply: (x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical ( ) Any scheme based on opt-out is unacceptable ( ) SMTP headers should not be the subject of legislation ( ) Blacklists suck ( ) Whitelists suck ( ) We should be able to talk about Viagra without being censored ( ) Countermeasures should not involve wire fraud or credit card fraud ( ) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks ( ) Countermeasures must work if phased in gradually ( ) Sending email should be free ( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers? ( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses (x) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem ( ) Temporary/one-time email addresses are cumbersome ( ) I don't want the government reading my email ( ) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough Furthermore, this is what I think about you: (x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work. ( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid company for suggesting it. ( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your house down!

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311100)

Watch this.

OMG A NEW LINE!!!!

OMG I DID IT AGAIN!!!

              Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

Re:Oblig. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311111)

How about this one:

(x) You're a douchebag. Even if you formatted that properly, it still wouldn't have been funny.

Spam conviction or Theft? (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 years ago | (#13311085)

From what i can tell, he is being jailed for THEFT, not spam.

While i agree with most here that spam sux, there is a difference between being convicted of spamming and convicted of being a common thief.

So dont get too happy yet shouting 'spammers are toast'.

"One spammer down, several million to go?" (5, Informative)

ciscoguy01 (635963) | about 9 years ago | (#13311091)

"One spammer down, several million to go?"
According to spamhaus only about 200 individuals are responsible for nearly all the spam in the world. I know that seems incredible but they are in a position to know.

1.6 billion customer records?? (1)

Guru Goo (875426) | about 9 years ago | (#13311096)

Prosecutors say his company, the now-defunct Snipermail.com, stole 1.6 billion customer record

Any ideas how many unique customers whould that mean ?

95% of spam from a small number of people. (3, Interesting)

IainMH (176964) | about 9 years ago | (#13311102)


  "One spammer down, several million to go?"

I heard that less than 200 people account for about 95% of all spam.

OB joke (-1, Redundant)

broothal (186066) | about 9 years ago | (#13311132)

640 years should be enough for anyone.

640K software (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13311153)

hmmmm.

<i>640K software is all the memory anybody would ever need on a computer</I>

640 years is all the punishment anybody would ever need for computer spaming.

somebody has a sense of humor.

They should hand out these punishments.... (1)

crivens (112213) | about 9 years ago | (#13311157)

They should hand out these kinds of punishments to murderers, child molesters and rapists.

640 years is more sentence than anyone needs (1)

Felinoid (16872) | about 9 years ago | (#13311171)

I want everyone to say this please.
Once everyone hears this the typical life span will be expanded byond 1 thousand years and then medical science will dubble the maxamum life span once every 6 months.

640 years is more sentence than anyone ever needs.

Pigsty (1)

baylanger (780885) | about 9 years ago | (#13311185)

How about wrapping his ass with a diaper, make him eat Ex-Lax until he gets rectal bleeding and then hang him in a pigsty with 1.6 billions bugs for 64 days.

I wonder if he would start over again?

It has to be said... (2, Funny)

stubear (130454) | about 9 years ago | (#13311217)

...Information just wants to be free. He didn't steal the information, he just copied it and shared it.

640 years isn't that long (0)

PhatboySlim (862704) | about 9 years ago | (#13311309)

He's lucky it wasn't 826 years!

ant mound (3, Insightful)

cifey (583942) | about 9 years ago | (#13311350)

So the difference here is that one person has the ability to disturb the whole infrastructure fo the economy, and waste a lot of time and money.
As bad as they are, a violent criminal only disturbs a small segment of society.
So a data 'thief' is like a lawn mower and a violent criminal is like an ant eater.
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