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British Spammer Gets 6 Years

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the angry-little-black-hat dept.

Spam 190

Killjoy_NL writes "The BBC tells us that a 23 year old spammer has been sentenced to 6 years in prison for sending spam and other illegal activities." From the article: "He had offered thousands of e-mail and website names when he had no right. And when victims complained, he threatened to destroy their internet systems by sending millions of spam e-mails. Peterborough Crown Court heard he also threatened to fire-bomb the headquarters of the county's trading standards department and petrol-bomb his local police headquarters. When internet policing group Nominet posted warnings about his activities, he responded by saying he would attack its servers." ZDNet has coverage as well.

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14054747)

FP BIJJESSSS!!!!!!one!!11!!eleven!11

meh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14054753)

meh

Ah, an ambitious young capitalist... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14054974)

Isn't this how Bill Gates got started?

Title Misleading (5, Informative)

mysqlrocks (783488) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054758)

FTA

Peter Francis-Macrae, of St Neots, Cambs, was found guilty of threatening to kill and blackmail.

Yes, he was a spammer but that's not what he was sentenced for.

Re:Title Misleading (4, Insightful)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054797)

Precisly: this kid should be better labled as a terrorist or a thug (not the hip-hop variety) rather than a spammer. I still find it horrible that he was cleared of two accounts of threatening to kill.

Re:Title Misleading (2, Insightful)

Thwomp (773873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055007)

Really, they were not so much threatening as embarrassing. When I heard them on the news I couldn't help but laugh. He probably got off because there was no intent and was panicking as the police were closing in on him. Although it's a shame that all the people he scammed will probably never see their money again.

Re:Title Misleading (4, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055057)

He's not a "terrorist". His actions were apparently not politically motivated. It sounds like he was just trying to defend his business from those who opposed it.

I know it's trendy these days for political leaders to refer to anyone they don't like as "terrorists", but I think we can maintain a higher standard here and use the word as it should be used.

"Thug" is perhaps a more appropriate term.

Re:Title Misleading (2, Insightful)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055251)

While you are correct in the modern context (and current dictionary definition) of the word, the roots of the word itself imply that a terrorist is traditionally someone who uses fear tactics and general psychological fuckery to further their goals (see also: The current US presidency). If this thug is threatening to fire-bomb and murder a few people in order to protect his scamming business, I would classify him as a low-level terrorist, however poorly organized.

That's just my 22 cents ;)

Re:Title Misleading (2, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055252)

Defending one's business is one thing, but threatening to attack other people who point out that your business is based on dishonesty and illegality is another entirely. I'd say he got what he deserved, regardless of whether or not "terrorist" is the right term (I agree that it isn't).

Spammer/Thug/Asshole (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055282)

The correct term for him is "asshole", and while "spammer" implies that, he's expanding the range of activities for which he's an asshole.


Saying he's a thug implies he actually would carry out his threats; he may just be talking like a thug without actually intending to do anything, or he may be the type to hire thugs to go beat people up for him. From a criminal prosecution standpoint, making threats is probably enough, though obviously carrying them out is a lot more prosecutable.

Re:Spammer/Thug/Asshole (2, Informative)

woluwedal (701711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055570)

'The correct term for him is "asshole", and while "spammer" implies that, he's expanding the range of activities for which he's an asshole.'

He's a brit, therefore the correct term is "arsehole" :0)

Title Not So Misleading (2, Informative)

tzot (834456) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055300)

He's not a "terrorist". His actions were apparently not politically motivated.
Terrorists [reference.com] are not just those who terrorize for political reasons.

B (terrorists) is a superset of A (terrorists with political motives>, so for every x in A, x in B is implied; I believe we agree on that. What you just said is that x is not a member of A, therefore he isn't a member of B too, which logically is flawed.

What do you call someone who threats to bomb a building unless they are offered a large amount of money? Do they have to actually bomb the building to earn the title "terrorist"?

Re:Title Misleading (1)

joepeg (87984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055391)

In this particular instance, I would use the term "knob" or "giant asshat"

Re:Title Misleading (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054824)

> > Peter Francis-Macrae, of St Neots, Cambs, was found guilty of threatening to kill and blackmail.
>
> Yes, he was a spammer but that's not what he was sentenced for.

Yes, but it sounds like he thre@tened to ki1l and b1ackmai1 so many people that the threats themselves qualified as spam :-)

Re:Title Misleading (5, Insightful)

cindy (19345) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054896)

It's like a bank robber who drove a car to the bank. "Motorist Gets 6 Years!" The article only mentions spamming in context of his other crimes.

Francis-Macrae was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading, one of concealing criminal property, two of making threats to kill, one charge of threatening to destroy or damage property and one count of blackmail.

The 23-year-old was cleared of two charges of making threats to kill.

Re:Title Misleading (4, Funny)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054972)

Yes, he was a spammer but that's not what he was sentenced for.

Somebody pointed this out last time Slashdot posted this story. [slashdot.org] But hey, if Slashdot can post misleading stories twice, we can post corrections twice, right?

Re:Title Misleading (1, Funny)

sydb (176695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055164)

Right.

Re:Title Misleading (4, Funny)

sydb (176695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055188)

Right.

Now mods, I may be redundant but my twin is Funny.

Re:Title Misleading (1, Informative)

sydb (176695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055288)

No, no, the other way round!!!

Re:Title Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055493)

No, no, the other way round!!!

In Soviet Russia, maybe.

Re:Title Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14054979)

Yep.

The moral of the story: don't threaten people, and if you get caught just give up the money. You serve a little bit of time, and then pick up where you left off.

Re:Title Misleading (1)

Chr0nik (928538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055147)

Yes, he was a spammer but that's not what he was sentenced for.

Bummer, I'd like to see a spammer get some real serious time for spamming, a precedent might be a deterrent. Although, the sentences that have been handed out so far have not proven to be.

Only six? (4, Insightful)

slashrogue (775436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054769)

I'm sure it's easy to dismiss out of hand comments about bomb-threats from some random guy as actually being serious, but they must be taken seriously and from the proliferate amount of threats and general assholery, surely this guy deserves more than six years as a life lesson.

Re:Only six? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055218)

Well if the prison system wasn't so corrupt with its main goal of making a profit, maybe he could get some rehabilitation. Incarceration is not the same thing despite what the British government seems to think.

A win for gun control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055266)

It's a good thing the Brits aren't allowed guns. Who knows what this guy could have done with one!

Re:Only six? (1)

sydb (176695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055449)

The guy needs a good shock; take all his money and make him work. But (we must assume) you only live once, a few years without freedom is a big portion of all you will ever have. I think if you lock people up for too long, your basically saying that society finds them worthless. How do you treat someone who finds you worthless? Without respect, I would imagine.

Brat. (1)

Blue Eagle 26 (683113) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054770)

What a goddamned immature brat.

2 much or 2 little? (5, Insightful)

yiantsbro (550957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054772)

At first glance you think "6 years for spam...damn that's harsh". Then you read what else he did and you think "damn, only 6 years"?

Re:2 much or 2 little? (0, Flamebait)

egotistical (930983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054798)

I think that spammers should be getting more than just six years for crud like this. They (spammers in general) cause so much harm by sending mass e-mails. But, then again, a bunch of twelve year old girls would probably get years in jail for the same thing.

Re:2 much or 2 little? (-1, Troll)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054950)

What kind of harm are you talking about? Consider the main "damage" caused by spam: wasted bandwidth, wasted time, and wasted diskspace. When proper (and fairly easy) precautions are taken, the harm can be mitigated for the most part.

It's quite easy to delete a number of emails to reclaim diskspace, for instance. And there are miles upon miles of dark fiber in many countries, so the bandwidth argument is basically moot. Perhaps the only harm caused is a minor waste of time. However, had proper precautions been taken in the first place, there'd be no need to clean up any mess caused by a spammer.

You talk about sentencing these people to lengthy prison terms for what basically amounts to being a minor annoyance. Should somebody who walks a bit slower than you now be imprisoned? After all, they're probably wasting just as much of your time as a spammer is if you're stuck behind them.

Re:2 much or 2 little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055045)

I always knew something about your posts annnoyed me. Now I realize I was subconciously picking up on the fact that you are a spammer.

Re:2 much or 2 little? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055054)

Hmm, what about the £1,600,000 that the spam conned out of people.

It wasn't just the .eu 'pre-registration' scam he ran. It was the sending out paper renewal notices to domain owners from details he scraped from the whois. It turns out that many people forget who their registrar is, and simply followed the instructions. At £60+ a shot, that is around 20,000 people who got scammed.

That's what spamming does. What about the time wasted by Nominet, the other registrars who's customers suddenly came down on them for not renewing, the police, trading standards ... that's not configurable by tweaking spamassassin.

There are obvious spams, and there are what this guy did.

Re:2 much or 2 little? (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055125)

Not to mention the death threats and threats of arson. I'd say 6 years is pretty light.

Re:2 much or 2 little? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055184)

Those are perhaps more reasonable reasons to sentence somebody to a significant jail term. Spamming alone often isn't. And the earlier post was talking specifically about spamming as a crime, not about death threats or arson threats.

Re:2 much or 2 little? (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055350)

Ah, why don't you RTFA and read the parent post and say that again. This ass-clown wasn't sentenced for spamming, he was commiting fraud. Then he threatened to kill people and burn down buildings. What part of that do you support?

Re:2 much or 2 little? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055490)

I did read the article, and the post that I replied to. You obviously did not. The previous poster was talking about giving spammers (note: just spammers, not those making arson or death threats) long jail terms.

Look, you're going to have to go back and read the other posts. We can't discuss this matter if you're going to continue to be ignorant of the facts and topics.

Re:2 much or 2 little? (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055536)

Gee, really?

"At first glance you think "6 years for spam...damn that's harsh". Then you read what else he did and you think "damn, only 6 years"?,"

I bolded the revelant section for your ease of reading. You're welcome.

off topic : Re:2 much or 2 little? (1)

onepoint (301486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055195)

>>I'd say 6 years is pretty light

it's real interesting to see what people from 2 different nations think about punishment. I find that I were to commit a crime, I think it would be better to do it in France or Italy than in USA.

Prison sentence seems shorter over there.

Onepoint

Time for people to take responsibility. (1, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055150)

Often times it is only the stupid who get scammed. Had these people taken the time to investigate the notice they received, then they most likely would not have been defrauded. They should have contacted their registrar to confirm the need for renewal, for instance. If they forgot who their registrar is, then they're just being irresponsible.

You speak of this guy owning up for the threats he made. Perhaps he should. But then again, his victims should own up to their mistakes. It was through their own negligence that they lost money. They willingly and voluntarily sent him the money. It's not like he came and took the money out of their wallets.

Re:Time for people to take responsibility. (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055380)

"It's not my fault these suckers leave their wallets in their back pockets where they're so easy to get at. I'm just taking money from the stupid ones."

Yeah that's gonna fly in court.

You're describing a different situation. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055534)

You're describing a completely different situation. Indeed, to get to the money in the peoples' wallets he would have to forcefully take it from them. That is not what happened in this case. Remember, the people voluntarily sent him the money.

A more apt analogy would be him standing beside a building, with a Coke logo on his chest, pretending to be a pop machine. People would voluntarily put money into his pocket, thinking they'd get a bottle of Coke. Of course, they wouldn't, because he's not really a pop vending machine.

Forgetting your registrar (1)

WoodstockJeff (568111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055442)

If they forgot who their registrar is, then they're just being irresponsible.

I don't know... I have several customers who have had their registrar change names several times! If you were, for example, a "Network Solutions" customer over the last decade, and you weren't paying close attention to Verisign's purchases, renaming, rebranding, etc., could anyone blaim you if you weren't 100% sure that the letter you received about the time you domain was up for renewal was from your registrar, or a different one with a "similar" name?

Re:2 much or 2 little? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055114)

Are you kidding? Threatening to destroy property is just an annoyance? If you said that to someone's face would you think the same thing? Just because the threats were made digitally does not make it just an annoyance. Secondly if you spam someone with emails constantly you can crash their server causing them to lose acutual money (i.e. cost of paying someone to get it up and running or lost revenue). The Internet gives people a sense of anominity so they can feel "removed" from the idea the are actually hurting someone or some company. I wonder if these people would be willing to do the same thing face to face?

Re:2 much or 2 little? (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055301)

Given how pervasive spam is and how it never seems to stop even after penalties are threatened and carried out, I actually think that it may be necessary to actually start imposing stiff penalties for spamming. Sure, it's not as bad as killing someone, but there's got to be a way to impose harsh punishments on those who do it so that things will improve. (I can hope, can't I?) The only trick is to figure out how to avoid contributing to the prison overcrowding problem that is causing people who are actually dangerous to others to be set free too soon. Any ideas?

hmmm, SPAM? (0, Redundant)

macaulay805 (823467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054774)

Out of all the other violations he had commited, why is Slashdot working the SPAM angle?

For instance;
A person arrested for hacking a website!
And the details are;
The person murdered everyone in the building, killed the world economy, and he hacked a website.

Yet, Slashdot would glorify that the person was arrested for hacking a website.

Re:hmmm, SPAM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14054843)

If anything, /. is pointing out what a bunch of pricks spammers are even away from the keyboard.

bait and switch (4, Insightful)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054775)

This was a lot less about his spamming activities and a lot more about the "threatened to fire-bomb the headquarters of the county's trading standards department and petrol-bomb his local police headquarters." part.

The fact that he was also a spammer is a side-story. Had he not done the other stuff, I'm sure he'd still be happily spamming away.

And after looking at the picture, what a smarmy little punk.

Good observation (1)

unik (929502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054778)

That's exactly it. I got excited when I read this headline, and it felt good to see things finally being done about the global nuisance. Sort of a let down.

Jailed more for fraud than spamming (2, Interesting)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054783)

I know it's nice to think some guy peddling generic viagra got put away for 6 years but this guy seems to have other serious issues:

"The 23-year-old was also convicted of threatening to destroy or damage property, concealing criminal property and fraudulent trading. "

It doesn't appear he was even charged with spamming, "Francis-Macrae was found guilty of two counts of fraudulent trading, one of concealing criminal property, two of making threats to kill, one charge of threatening to destroy or damage property and one count of blackmail. ".

And when he's making 100k pounds per week I doubt that many ppl are paying for junk, he prob was scamming somehow.

This may come as a shock to you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14054875)

.. but spam *IS* fraud.

Re:This may come as a shock to you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055046)

Not automatically, some spammers might actually deliver what it is they are selling

In his case he appears to have been impersonating another organization [fraud], and then not delivering what he sold [fraud again], and he did both via email and snail mail

Re:Jailed more for fraud than spamming (1)

KitesWorld (901626) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054942)

It doesn't appear he was even charged with spamming

There are no laws against spamming in the UK - the Computers Misuse Act, while broad enough to catch most offences, doesn't quite cover spam.

Hence, 'tis currently impossible to charge someone in the UK for simply spamming. You can, however, take civil action against them for any damage/expenses they incur on your network.

Re:Jailed more for fraud than spamming (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055070)

Yes there is. However the maximum penalty is a fine of £5,000, so in this case, it isn't really worth worrying about.

Good Riddance. (4, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054787)


Jackass. Interesting that this particular model citizen didn't stop with mere spamming, but added arson threats and murder threats to his repitoire. Hopefully, this will serve to further erase the fictitous dividing line between spammers and "real criminals".

Flawed logic, TripMaster. (0, Redundant)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054977)

Your logic is faulty. There's not necessarily a connection between spammers and "real criminals", even if there is one in this case.

If somebody who violates copyrights on occasion turns around and kills someone, that does not make all copyright violators murderers.

Re:Flawed logic, TripMaster. (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055232)

I'd say in this case there most certainly WAS a connection between spamming and "real crime". And just because lawmakers are slow to respond and put laws into place to prevent spamming doesn't mean it isn't wrong.

Re:Good Riddance. (1)

r1_97 (462992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055089)

Yes, good riddance. While there are different types (property vs. physical) and degrees of crimes this jerk is a bona fide "real criminal" for spamming as well as other more serious offences.

TheReg had it earlier... (2, Informative)

anonymo (878718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054795)

'Vindictive' UK spammer jailed for six years
http://www.theregister.com/2005/11/17/spammer_jail ed/ [theregister.com]

Good news!

Re:TheReg had it earlier... (1)

anonymo (878718) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054884)

On the other side the BBC had a picture of him. Maybe I start practicing the dart game...

I reminds me one day I walked into my workplace and told that the guy who stole my bike was found and my bike was still intact. And at last he got 3 months in jail!
- !!!???
- Well, he has 23 other bikes and some narcotics too :)

Naturally criminals aren't kinky: thay take what the opportunity will give.

Typo... (1)

jahudabudy (714731) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055269)

or subtle dirty joke?
Naturally criminals aren't kinky: thay take what the opportunity will give.

"Dude, that chick is so kinky. She took everything I had the opportunity to give!"

Domain Registry Of Europe (5, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054805)

I think it was this guy.

He sent out fake renewal notices to people, using whois data. The notices asked for a renewal fee of around £60 for 2 years renewal.

I reported that company several times to trading standards, as my line of work was in the same area, and it was affecting my customers who would get in contact and ask about their renewal status, that they'd sent in the cheque a while ago... this happened dozens of times, and I was running a tiny internet company.

His response? He moved his company to a Mailboxes Etc (Regent Street, Cambridge, UK) that I also used, thus sullying my companies name. Mailboxes Etc were not interested in the fact that their customer was a scammer.

Re:Domain Registry Of Europe (1)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055331)

Uh huh, and the fact that another customer uses the same PO box shop you do sullies your reputation ... ooookay. I'm not following here. If I rent a PO box, how do I know someone selling porn is using the next box over? I don't. What does that have to do with my reputation?

Re:Domain Registry Of Europe (1)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055373)

>Mailboxes Etc were not interested in the fact that their customer was a scammer.

Then what happened? Did you drop mbe, move your business elsewhere and threaten to take them to court for the expense?

got what he deserved (0, Troll)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054831)

That stupid little parasite got what he deserved. Just look at him, he's a punkass. Have fun in prison, beyotch.

-d

1 word for mister spammer/bad guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14054838)

pwned. BAaaaaaaaaaahahahaha

Any yet, stuffing ballot boxes... (2, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054844)

2 year sentence. Ahhh, the oldest democracy, nice to see we have our priorities spot on.

www.troubl.eu (1)

demon411 (827680) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054845)

"He is accused of fraudulently selling unavailable .eu domains among other dubious business practices dating back five years." Where do i sign up?

"... He's accused of threatening to slit the throats of trading standards ..." Tha's what a 24 should be doing, not spamming

Wow (1)

NVP_Radical_Dreamer (925080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054850)

Not only is the guy a piece of crap spammer, hes also a psycho. Good thing he is locked up, maybe the amount of spam floating around will decrease by some small fraction of a percemt

Good! (5, Funny)

Whackjob23 (931901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054854)

Now hopefully he'll know the feeling of having unwanted items shoved into his inbox. Or outbox, depending upon your view of that type of thing....

Speaking of spam... (1)

Scratch-O-Matic (245992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054856)

could someone explain the "Reunite Gondwondaland!" at the bottom of the Slashdot page to me? Googling the phrase yields nothing but drug spam posted to blogs.

I feel so ignorant.

Re:Speaking of spam... (1)

Sabaki (531686) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054948)

The spelling is a little different, but it's the original supercontinent, before the family split apart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gondwanaland [wikipedia.org]

Re:Speaking of spam... (2, Informative)

Requiem Aristos (152789) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054955)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gondwanaland [wikipedia.org]

Apart from the incorrect spelling, Gondwanaland was one of two supercontinents resulting from the breakup of Pangaea. (The other was Laurasia.) It came into existence around 200 million years ago, then began to break up around 160 million years ago.

Re:Speaking of spam... (1)

Scratch-O-Matic (245992) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055004)

Thanks...but any idea why Googling the mispelled phrase gets all the drug spam?

Re:Speaking of spam... (1)

debraj (853623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055132)

I think you should think of it as:

someone musing about re-uniting the split up Gondowonaland..
+
while loosely re-reading the word as "Gone to Wonderland"...
+
of course, thinking of the guy being on dope

He's keeping the money? (3, Interesting)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054879)

"During the trial, Francis-Macrae defied Judge Nicholas Coleman QC by refusing to reveal where he hid up to £425,000, saying Cambridgeshire Police would "steal" it."

That'd be an outrage if he really ends up with all that, they should make a condition he never gets released unless he says where he hid the cash if he withdrew it or moves it all back into the UK if he transferred his profits offshore. Otherwise he should rot in jail forever.

Re:He's keeping the money? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055099)

You realize that him remaining in jail for the next 60 years will cost far more than £425,000, correct?

They should just offer him the equivalent of £425,000 in today's American dollars. If the value of the dollar keeps falling, by the time he's release he'll perhaps be able to buy himself a loaf of bread.

Re:He's keeping the money? (1)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055153)

"You realize that him remaining in jail for the next 60 years will cost far more than £425,000, correct?" Obviously but that's a flawed arguement. Society keeps people in jail at great cost in theory to protect the population from harm which may or may not end up costing more than keeping whoever in jail. Nobody sane releases criminals from jail to save costs and taking into account human nature it's surely the publics will, most people would rather the government pay 4.25 million incarcerating him for life than having him running around in 6 years with 425k and living in a private helicopter.

Re:He's keeping the money? (1)

abscondment (672321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055194)

If the money is considered stolen property, it will still be illegal for him to possess it once he gets out of jail. So, if they are able to link him to any unaccounted for source of income, he'll probably do more time.

Token Measure (0)

cyberscan (676092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054889)

I guess the Government of U.K. has to do something to make it look like they take spamming seriously. I wish the U.S. would pass a real law against spamming as well as enforce it.

Death threat=spam? (4, Funny)

D-Fens (176301) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054892)

Wouldn't a death threat be "unsolicited?"

It was the threats which sunk him (2, Informative)

Demerara (256642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054898)

It was the malevolence of his threats which sunk him.

Peterborough Crown Court heard he also threatened to fire-bomb the headquarters of the county's trading standards department and petrol-bomb his local police headquarters.

Just the spamming alone wouldn't have got him such a sentence.

Re:It was the threats which sunk him (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054962)

Peter Francis-Macrae of Cambridgeshire was found guilty of fraudulent trading, concealing criminal property, threatening to destroy or damage property, making threats to kill and blackmail


Fraudulent Trading

via Spam - both postal and email

£1.6m (which is around $3m) ... I wonder if he ever declared his VAT bill?

I'm sure it added a year or two onto his sentence.

Oh, and I hope he isn't released until he reveals where the money he scammed is - no parole for this particularly low-life scum.

Appropriate jail-time for spammers (1)

gkhan1 (886823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054901)

When I read the very misleading title I assumed that he had gotten 6 years for just sending spam. Turns out, he did things way worse than that, but still, when I read the title I was a little bit shocked. Six years!!! For spam!!! Ok, it's very annoying, but I would violently protest anyone getting anything more than a month for just sending spam. Does anyone know how long you actually get/how much you have to pay for sending spam?

Re:Appropriate jail-time for spammers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055202)

"Ok, it's very annoying, but I would violently protest anyone getting anything more than a month for just sending spam."

Violently? So - you're willing to give up your life to defend the right of spammers to spam, while they cost businesses millions, if not more, dollars?

I waste about an hour a day dealing with spam. It's easy to automatically filter out c14l1s and such crap. It's not so easy to filter out random strings of psuedo-sensical babble, especially when you're dealing with international clients who might not have the best grasp of English.

Based on myself alone, this costs my company $2700 a year. I'm a single person, we're a small company, and I'm horribly, absofrigginlutely horribly underpaid. (Alas, for living in a technological asshole of the world.)

Imagine what spam costs large corporations. Or even home users, those on dialup who pay for access by the minute - such places sadly still exist in the world.

A month?

These asshats should be sodomized with a can of Spam and then thrown into a cell for a few decades.

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14054916)

I'm gonna post this on Digg, that way /. can point back and say SEE! SEE! We got it first baby!

Spam (0, Troll)

certel (849946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054920)

Hopefully, this will strike some fear into spammers and some of the spam will be reduced!

I blame the parents. (4, Funny)

borkus (179118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14054923)

Okay, at least his dad. According to the BBC article,

Francis-Macrae, who made more than £100,000 per week from the scam, spent £28,000 on designer clothes and on learning to fly helicopters

If any of my offspring are over 18 and wandering around the house in an outfit that's more than my mortgage payment, they best get packing - quickly. Oh, and they need to get that helicopter out of the front yard - it's murder on the azaleas.

the first SPAM terrorist (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055021)

make him write out all messaging/mail by hand, forever

Nominet is not a policing organisation (3, Informative)

nicolaiplum (169077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055075)

Nominet is hardly a policing organisation. They are operate the registry for uk. and so I expect they got a lot of complaints about him and decided to warn other people.
Also his main crime was not spamming, but simple fraud: offering to sell that which he was not entitled to sell.
This is poor sub-editing even by Slashdot, and BBC technology, standards.

What do you think he would get if.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055101)

..he threatened to break in to each person's computer and ensure that no one was using his 'intellectual property' for reasons he did not beleive fit? OH WAIT SONY did this--and they get nothing. bull shit

Not Spam that got him in trouble (1)

intmainvoid (109559) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055104)

Email was just the medium, not the message. I get plenty of spam that doesn't break any laws, even spam that's tweaked so much to beat spamassassin that I can't even tell what they're selling, but it's just as annoying as fraud based spam.

It's like arresting a mafia boss for jaywalking. Why not just pass laws that make the real problem illegal in the first place?

Re:Not Spam that got him in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055279)

"It's like arresting a mafia boss for jaywalking"

-- so you're saying it's like arresting somebody guilty of major criminal acts for a minor acts

So let's see, this guy did: spammer AND fraud, death threats, money laundering, etc.

So, according to you, this guy got held up on minor issues [fraud, death threats, money laundering, etc] rather than his real crime - spamming?

I hate spam as much as the next guy, but sometimes I really think people have things out of proportion.

Fly? (1)

RalphBinaca (703952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055106)

Like most of you, my first reaction was, "what? only six years?" But then I read this:

Francis-Macrae, who made more than £100,000 per week from the scam, spent £28,000 on designer clothes and on learning to fly helicopters, the court heard.

Helicopters? Sweet. Ok, give him six years. ;-)

Editors are Jackasses! (1, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055158)

WTF?!?!? I'm tired of this sensationalized, misleading garbage we're seeing in article summaries! This site has gone to hell and if the community moved elsewhere I would too. I don't even come here for the articles themselves any more, just to read the comments. Enough is enough! Try to at least PRETEND to have credibility!

Go ahead and mod me -5 FlAmEbAiT!!!!

Re:Editors are Jackasses! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055488)

Absolutely. Pretty much every article is nonsense. I ignore the article and read the comments to find out why, and usually pick up something interesting along the way - and there is the value in this place. The stupid articles are just bait to bring the people with something worthwhile out to speak, without having to pay them. Magic.

I say.... (1)

PB_TPU_40 (135365) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055181)

I say good riddence and I hope he rots in hell.... Wait thats what my friends and I are gonna say at each other's funerals, he's not good enough for that.

Why don't they just lock him in Irons and create a website where each time its visited he's shocked... Then we just slashdot it. :D

Sadly I am very dissappointed that he's only getting 6 years, the US goverment tried nailing me for more than that for something I didn't even do. They didn't even have evidence. *It was a accident in bad weather and they tried nailing me on two counts of felony vehicular assault, one count was nothing more than whiplash, the other was my fiance and she ripped the prosecutor a new one. All they had was eye witness statements none of which were the same.* This guy had more evidence against him than you could shake a fist at, including threats to those willing to stand up to him, including threats to government buildings. Doesn't that classify him as a terrorist? Lock his ass up and throw away the key.

Just my two cents.

pbtpu40

So he got 6 years, but was it for the spam? (0, Redundant)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055309)

He threatened people, threatened to bomb government buildings, etc. What exactly was the six years for then?

Don't blame slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14055546)

To all those blaming slashdot for a misleading title look at the tile fro BBC

Spammer jailed for £1.6m net scam

I belive slashdot only para-phrased thier title so in this case the title on slashdot is somewhat justified.

Mislabelled... (1)

Vexler (127353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14055563)

"Angry-Little-Black-Hat"? Angry, perhaps, but "black hat"?

If a blackhatter wanted to take down a server, he would have kept his mouth shut and just done it (and erased his footprint when he sneaked out). He would have also concealed his identity a lot better than what this scumbag did.
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