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MySpace Sues Spam King

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the why-would-you-call-yourself-spam-king dept.

Spam 118

Harry Maugans writes to mention a lawsuit filed by MySpace against Scott Richter, the 'Spam King'. Filed under California's harsh anti-spam laws, the suit alleges that Richter sent millions of unsolicited 'bulletins' to MySpace users over the past few years. From the article: "The suit is aiming for monetary damages and an injunction that would permanently ban Richter and his affiliates from MySpace. The amount of money sought by MySpace has not been disclosed. Richter was already ordered to pay $7 million in a 2003 lawsuit filed by Microsoft after initially refusing to settle the dispute for $100,000. Microsoft announced in 2005 that it would be using the money from the settlement to fuel further antispam operations."

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118 comments

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Let me... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723086)

...spam this with FIRST POST :)

Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723090)

The only way to stop spam is to make it unprofitable. So if you get enough lawsuits on you Spams become unprofitable. Thus it stops.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (4, Insightful)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723512)

Or we will have a lot of small spammers that will be quite hard to track and sue. It's easy to find somebody like Richter, with big company and proven track of shadowy activities.

To make spam stop is to educate people not to buy crap they advertise.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723694)

And how will you do that. Spammers get the stupidest of the supid people. Any education attempt will not effect the stupid people thus crap over spam will still be sent. At least Lawsuits against spammers espectilly high profile ones, allows the "Honest" Spammers to pause and rethink the cost of doing business.

There are actually differnt levels of spammings.

Level one. People have a legit product/service to sell, they were gullible enough to beleave spamming works well and it is legal and just like any other form of marketing.

Level two. They still have a legit product/service, they know it it could have a negitive back lash and there are some legality issues what are not 100% clear but they figure the Benefit is worth the Risk.

Level three. They have a Questionable product/service and want to buisnes anonmymously with legal forms of advertising out Spaming is the only alternitive form.

Now with high legalsuits the Level one and Level twos Spammers will rethink thier options with spamming. Level 3 will still be there but it will reduce the Legit qualitys of Spam even further making each lawsuit more and more easy to convict spammers.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724302)

Although victims of spammers are often the most stupid of stupid people, it might be the case that a concerted education attempt will affect some people, if only in the field of basic literacy. Perhaps a realistic target might be one mistake every 6 words, on average?

Whether "high legalsuits" will help or "crap over spam will still be sent" is anyone's guess, once they've taken a guess at what that means...

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724486)

Give the poor guy a break. He is, after all, a former BBS SysOp. Most SysOps are horrible at spelling and grammar...that's why they became SysOps. ;)

(I'm a former BBS SysOp as well, so I'm making fun of myself as well. :D)

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726066)

And how will you do that. Spammers get the stupidest of stupid people

That's often the case, but not always. It might be that reasonably intelligent people see a private, discrete way to get Cialis or Viagra. Worst-case, they're out a few dollars and have to quickly cancel a credit card. Best case, they got what they wanted without the perceived embarrassment of going to their physician.

Don't confuse ignorant (or greedy, in the case of stock-spam) with stupid.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726464)

Not to mention you will always have the idiots that think spamming works, try it, realizes much effort it really is and then quite. then someone else starts.. and the cycle continues.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (2, Insightful)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726760)

And how will you do that. Spammers get the stupidest of the supid people. Any education attempt will not effect the stupid people thus crap over spam will still be sent.

I suggest we spam these stupid people with messages urging them not to buy things from spam messages, or else someone's gonna hunt them down and kill their pets and/or livestock.

Same thing for the assholes who drive whilst on the phone.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

charlieman (972526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17729534)

Same thing for the assholes who drive whilst on the phone.
That problem fixes itself :D

Wait for people to stop being idiots... (5, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723722)

If that is really the best plan to combat spam, all hope is lost.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724210)

To make spam stop is to educate people not to buy crap they advertise.

Go after the so-called legit companies that Spam their own customers and allow individuals to sue under CAN-SPAM (or simply get that law off the books so we can seek civil action without corps using CAN-SPAM as a shield).

Technology types promote spam by letting big companies abuse personal information, misrepresent privacy policies ("we value your privacy... read on to see how we value your privacy by selling your info to anyone"), or requiring password/personal info to unsubscribe - a technique identical to phishing.

Educate the user - puh leeze. Petty spammers are following the same formula the corporation use. There is little techincal difference between spamming from a zombie or open relay versus using a corporate "no reply" email address. Any fucker that sends me email better be prepared to individually respond to replies.

Predicatably, this line of thought gets a negative reaction here. It seems many of you get paid as cogs in the marketing machine. Your only problem is a technical one: the *VOLUME* of Spam. If you can't stop a MAJOR credit card company ("I'm sorry sir, we have no control over that as a third party handles all our... " - Harris Bank I'm looking at you!), then you have no chance of stopping the scammers.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17726884)

> Go after the so-called legit companies that Spam their own customers

Yeah that'll sure teach the folks running pump-n-dump schemes.

> There is little techincal difference between spamming from a zombie or open relay versus using a corporate "no reply" email address.

I think you just permanently disqualified yourself from making technically-oriented points about spam.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

utopianfiat (774016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726016)

I lost it at "educate people"
funny joke.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (3, Funny)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726224)

Or we could take a few of the big ones out and stake them out in the desert like one of those old western movies. Then we could strip them naked, poor honey all over them and sit back and wait for the ants. We could even pass the day by placing side bets on what would get them first, the sun or the ants.

Then we take the video an post it to youtube.

It's just a thought....

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723526)

Or you could just CIA-Covert Ops the spammers. If enough of them start 'disappearing' there will finally be some risk to spamming, and hopefully, some deterrent.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (5, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723770)

Well, you know how it is... government agencies lose their effectiveness the moment they would be useful: the SEC won't pursue pump-and-dump spam, the military won't go after real terrorists, police won't enter a school to stop a shooter until it's "safe" (!), NASA won't let rich people fund space exploration in exchange for tiny favors, INS won't investigate H1-B circumvention, the Department of Education won't investigate teachers' union corruption ...

did I miss anything?

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726006)

the Department of Education won't investigate teachers' union corruption ...

The Department of Education isn't a law enforcement agency; they don't have the authority to go after things outside their department.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726108)

I wasn't referring to the criminal side; I meant: they dont' investigate the unions' impact on education quality and cost, and report it to Congress or prosecutors, even though that would be a significant factor to consider.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17727700)

Police going inside until it's safe? This is a result of hostages being KILLED when the perp senses a breech. now i'm not saying they use the best route... but it certainly saves more lives than storming the castle with guns ablaze.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (3, Funny)

C_L_Lk (1049846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724012)

Certainly, at least in the US, some spammers could be considered enemies of the state and enemy combatants, if they are spamming government email addresses and cause congestion or other undue strain on the mailboxes of government employees and staff members. So, just declare them an enemy combatant, they lose their rights as a citizen, they get moved to Guantanamo, the suspected terrorists they share quarters with find out they are spammers, and they swiftly end their lives without prejudice. Why? Because their last terrorist bombing was thwarted because their cell of operatives couldn't get their proper instructions by email, because they were too busy trying to filter out the stock pump-n-dump emails for PHYK.PK and the ones from the Cialis pushers. Problem solved.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723532)

There is another way: it's hard to make a profit if you're dead.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (2, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723550)

No it doesn't. They'll just take it offshore, do a better job of hiding, or otherwise make it difficult or impossible to sue them. The only reason this guy is known as any sort of a "spam king" is they were able to catch him, but he is one among how many thousands of spammers worldwide?

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

simonv (1021495) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723690)

Move to Sealand and send all the spam you want with a beautiful ocean view.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723956)

Move to Sealand and send all the spam you want with a beautiful ocean view.

That's when you hit 'em with a Thor Shot.

"do a better job hidding" (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723782)

The UCE spammers will need some way to send them money. That makes them vulnerable.

Both Work and Will Required (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724044)

No it doesn't. They'll just take it offshore, do a better job of hiding, or otherwise make it difficult or impossible to sue them.

In a world where:

people only accept mail signed with domainkeys
AND
law enforcement does its job WRT spammers
AND
machines don't accept connections from jurisdictions that don't have or don't enforce their anti-spam or computer trespass laws

then we stand a reasonable chance of tackling spam. Somebody wake me when that world arrives.

Yeah, yeah, balkanization, blah, blah, blah - there are either legal regimes or it's every-man-for-himself. I know how that's working out for folks I know.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

Ougarou (976289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723614)

Not all viruses made and sent are profitable, and yet they don't seem to stop either: there will also be honour. So, let's hang people who sent spam then, no profit, no honour. Great solution, right? Well you are still stuck with a now almost impossible to answer question: when is something spam. So the only solution there is: make it impossible. That is the only solution. My 2 cents.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

william.mcsweeney (873695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723648)

The only reason spam exists is because it works. If people would stop buying what the spam is selling they would no longer make a profit. Filing lawsuits against them may take some of their profits, but as long as there is a constant income from people responding to the spam they need not worry. The best method of making it stop would most likely be educating people not to buy from it.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723786)

Well, the only reason spam is sent is because the spammers /think/ it works. Even if you convince everyone to not buy from spam emails, there may be people bilked into buying & running spam software packages - i.e. "with this $30 software, you can send out massive amounts of emails from a single Chinese internet cafe computer and make $30000" - even though it's not true, they still push the button & spam continues.

Your idea won't work. (5, Insightful)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723652)

Your post advocates a
( ) technical (*) 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
(*) 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
(*) 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
(*) 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
( ) 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
(*) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves
( ) Bandwidth costs that are unaffected by client filtering
( ) Outlook

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(*) 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
(*) 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:

(*) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.
( ) Nice try, assh0le! I'm going to find out where you live and burn your
house down!

Thanks to Cory Doctorow [craphound.com] for his excellent form post.

Re:Your idea won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723970)

"Thanks to Cory Doctorow for his excellent form post."

Doctorow didn't make that up, he just copied it.

Re:Your idea won't work. (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724420)

Possibly- but I got it from his site to begin with, so I am crediting my source (even if it is not the original).

Everyone else is doing it... (1)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724512)

Several websites make the same attribution that I do. If I'm crediting the wrong person it at least seems to be a common mistake. Also, some evidence that we're wrong would be good- do you know where he got it from?

Re:Your idea won't work. (4, Insightful)

esme (17526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724396)

Your post advocates a
( ) technical (*) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

Actually, it was a judicial solution

(*) No one will be able to find the guy or collect the money

They already know where this guy lives, and M$ is apparently collecting money from him.

(*) Requires too much cooperation from spammers

Not really, since our courts already have wonderful ways of dealing with uncooperatives.

(*) Lack of centrally controlling authority for email

Not sure how this applies.... You sue each individual spammer, so no central authority is needed.

(*) Open relays in foreign countries

Foreign countries with different laws (or standards of justice) could be problems. But in reality, most spam comes from two or three dozen operations, and most of them are in the US or Europe. So the legal problems are not as complicated as you might think.

(*) Asshats
(*) Jurisdictional problems

Ibid.

(*) Armies of worm riddled broadband-connected Windows boxes

This solution specifically avoids this problem -- by removing the source of spam rather than trying to stop it technically.

(*) Joe jobs and/or identity theft

Again, our courts have good safeguards for this.

(*) Dishonesty on the part of spammers themselves

Ibid.

(*) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical

The laws have only been in place for a couple of years. And the big spam-victims have started to use them. We'll see how effective they are.

(*) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem

How is this a feel-good measure? People are actually suing the spammers right now. He's saying we should do more of that (which I'm sure the major spam victims are working on as we speak).

(*) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.

Maybe not. Maybe we'll take down the big spammers only to find out that a bunch of little spammers from Indonesia take their place. But it certainly seems worth a shot, particularly if we can get large amounts of money back from the spammer assholes.

-Esme

Re:Your idea won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724646)

Mod parent insightful (as I did).

I'm tired of seeing people re-port this stupid form because they are somehow unable to formulate their own opinion on each matter.

You've posted a
(*) pre-made form ( ) tub girl link

because you are
(*) stupid
( ) educated
(*) high
( ) wise
(*) aware that it is ALWAYS modded insightful
(*) drunk

You're opinion is
(*) unfounded
( ) worthwhile
(*) meaningless
( ) helpful
(*) annoying
( ) well thought out

Re:Your idea won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724716)

The reason the form gets used is because idiots continue to propose unworkable, half-assed "solutions" to the SPAM problem. Almost every single one of these ideas has been thought of and discarded before, usually years before.

The form saves time. Why waste time writing a unique response to an idea that wasn't unique to begin with?

Re:Your idea won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724892)

The form saves time. Why waste time writing a unique response to an idea that wasn't unique to begin with?

It isn't wasting time if the time is already spent. I would bet that the intended point could have been easily communicated in just as much (or probably even less) time than it took to find the form, paste it, and go through each option and tick the (im)proper ones. It's a lazy solution to a non-existent problem.

If the idea is old, foolish, and overly discussed here's an idea -- DON'T BOTHER RESPONDING TO IT.

Re:Your idea won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17727490)

If no one responds to tell the originator it's a bad idea that's been tried before then all you end up with is a pile of me-too'ers who think it's a great idea. The danger is that these merry band of ne'er do wells will then actually attempt to implement their ill conceived ideas. The really gung-ho ones may cause damage.

Sigh... (4, Insightful)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725152)

Fist, Judicial solutions are Law-based, i.e. legislative.
The real problem is tracing the idiots who send the spam- while we can sue the pants off the few people we can find, we can't find everyone. Also, we have very limited jurisdiction over most of the world- we may be able to identify some Spammer's IP, but we need cooperation with the authorities to do anything about it.
Basically, sueing spammers works great when they are in the U.S. and identifable, but that is not going to stop Spam. Obviously we should sue the buggers we can find- but thinking that will solve the problem is far too optimistic.

Re:Your idea won't work. (1)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17727556)

Foreign countries with different laws (or standards of justice) could be problems. But in reality, most spam comes from two or three dozen operations, and most of them are in the US or Europe.
US. We dirty, socialist Europeans might be primitive backwater savages living in a communist utopia without realizing that only War on (Terror|Drugs|Communism|Whatever) makes true happiness and we are also far behind in turning out countries into surveilance police-states, but at least spam is not originating from Europe in considerable quantity.

Check the ROKSO list [spamhaus.org] if you want to know who the top spammers are.

Re:Your idea won't work. (1)

esme (17526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17727806)

Right you are (though there's some debate about the surveillance police-state, bit). There are a grand total of 15 European spammers on the list, even with a rather broad definition of "Europe" (Russia, Ukraine, UK, Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Italy). There are a similar number from Asia.

But I think the take-home message from the list is that most spammers are based in the US, and easily reachable by our courts.

-Esme

Re:Your idea won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724620)

I love that Form! I just sent a copy to everyone I know, as well as everyone who posted on this discussion.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723856)

Isn't the second article on a spam in a day a spam. The idea of making spam unprofitable is not going to happen. If you make such promotional unprofitable then slashdot will go down, google will go down. Well you can really prioritize your content. Less priority content can be deleted easily as compared to high priority content. I did it for emails and it works very well. Here is the link to my blog..

http://transcendental.wordpress.com/2006/08/05/a-s imple-spam-fighter/ [wordpress.com]

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724132)

Can I file a lawsuit against AOL for all this years filling my mailbox with CDs and stuff? Would that stop them?

Although, Now that I think, I haven't received one of those CDs in sometime, Could it be that someone already did it?

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (2, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725422)

This was an old and flawed argument in 1993.
AOL pays the postal services to deliver their crap. Spammers make the recipient pay for their crap.
If it weren't for AOL and junk mail in general, you would pay MORE for your postal service. If it weren't for Scott Richter and the like, you would pay LESS for your internet service. (and it would be significantly better as well.)

One of my customers is a moderately large company, with about 4000 employees. They have spent about a quarter million dollars on anti-spam software and hardware, which doesn't include the cost of bandwidth, storage, man-hours, or lost productivity.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726872)

They have spent about a quarter million dollars on anti-spam software and hardware, which doesn't include the cost of bandwidth, storage, man-hours, or lost productivity.

Besides the quarter million spent in software that probably can get for free. Do you think that hardware, bandwidth and storage prices are heavily influenced by spam? Isn't that like saying that bricks and paint prices are influenced by graffiti?

I know it's annoying, but does it make any sense? That just promotes vandals doing it just for the fun of "catch me if you can".

But that's just my point of view of causeless wars. They need to be penalized, but I don't think it's necessary to worry that much and spend millions also in the solution.

From my point of view, there are lost causes. Among them I include war against alcohol (prohibition by the time of Al Capone), Same thing with tobacco and now with drugs. We keep looking for spending millions on solving problems that might not be worth it, and it is part of education what solves the problem, instead of millions given to lawyers to fight only ONE in a court.

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17728804)

One of my customers is a moderately large company, with about 4000 employees. They have spent about a quarter million dollars on anti-spam software and hardware, which doesn't include the cost of bandwidth, storage, man-hours, or lost productivity.

4000 employees - we'll take an average salary of $50,000 (I know it's not this high directly, but the adage of 'an employee costs double their salary') at a minimum. The company needs to be earning at least this (and obviously, quite a bit more, on capital, infrastructure, blah blah blah, we'll be really generous and say that's 20% of salary cost. Already, we're at 4,000 * 50,000 = $200M + 20% = $240M/year company. And regardless of whether they should have to or not, you're griping over spending $250k on this? 0.1% of one years turnover in protecting an essential service / asset to the company?

Re:Unfortunatly it is the only way to go. (1)

lupine_stalker (1000459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724352)

The only way to stop spam is to make it unprofitable. So if you get enough lawsuits on you Spams become unprofitable. Thus it stops.
Yes, because this is the method that the **AA use to stop movie/music piracy, and as we all know, no one EVER downloads warez illegally anymore...

In related news... (5, Funny)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723098)

Tom has had a class action suit leveled against him for sending out millions of unsolicited "friend" requests.

Mod parent funny (2, Informative)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723798)

Parent is not offtopic, as "Tom" is the MySpace founder that all new accounts get as their first friend. Ergo parent is funny, and not offtopic.

hahaha misreading title. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723118)

I misread this as "MySpace sues Stephen King"

I was thinking WTF?!

mmmm, spam (5, Funny)

bsundhei (1053360) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723138)

So is 'Spam King' the even cheaper version of Burger King?

Re:mmmm, spam (-1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723902)

Yeah but I heard their burgers taste like enlarged cock. Ewww.

Re:mmmm, spam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724414)

You fucking slashbotting douchebags. This post ruled.

Re:mmmm, spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17729172)

Never really tried it in bread before. However, there is a dish in Hawaii called Spam musubi and maybe he can be the Spam musubi King. There is even a song from http://www.frankdelima.com/store.html [frankdelima.com] call "Spam Musubi" midway through the page.
Here is the the at Wikipedia URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_musubi [wikipedia.org]

VFROST PIST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723178)

Banned? (3, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723584)

an injunction that would permanently ban Richter and his affiliates from MySpace.
For those unfamiliar with Myspace, it's that thing that a 13-year-old child can easily get a new account on after being banned. Good thing this guy isn't a 13-year-old child!

Re:Banned? (2, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723768)

i assume when they say "ban" they mean legally, like a restraining order. they're probably already banning all the accounts, but if they banned them legally they could threaten to legally take action if they caught them again.

IANAL (5, Interesting)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723600)

Filed under California's harsh anti-spam laws, the suit alleges that Richter sent millions of unsolicited 'bulletins' to MySpace users

Are bulletins considered emails? I would say no.

Re:IANAL (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723634)

You're right! I bet they didn't think of that when they were drafting the law. Man, you've got 'em on a technicality.

Or, you probably havn't.

Re:IANAL (2, Insightful)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723804)

Are bulletins considered emails? I would say no.

Given the way the law is written [spamlaws.com] , the relevant question is not "are bulletins e-mail", but whether a bulletin is "an electronic message that is sent to an e-mail address and transmitted between two or more telecommunications devices, computers, or electronic devices capable of receiving electronic messages".

The interesting thing is that Myspace uses e-mail addresses as login ids. I suppose they will argue that any message to a Myspace user is therefore "sent to an e-mail address" even though it is not sent via SMTP.

Circular definitions (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17728560)

An interesting feature of the California law is that the definition of email is circular. Consider:

(f) "Electronic mail" or "e-mail" means an electronic message that is sent to an e-mail address and transmitted between two or more telecommunications devices, computers, or electronic devices capable of receiving electronic messages, whether or not the message is converted to hard copy format after receipt, viewed upon transmission, or stored for later retrieval. "Electronic mail" or "e-mail" includes electronic messages that are transmitted through a local, regional, or global computer network.


Okay, okay, if you've got an electronic message that is sent to an "e-mail address" its an "e-mail" or "electronic mail". Good, so what's an "e-mail address"?

(g) "Electronic mail address" or "e-mail address" means a destination, commonly expressed as a string of characters, to which electronic mail can be sent or delivered. An "electronic mail address" or "e-mail address" consists of a user name or mailbox and a reference to an Internet domain.


Okay, if "electronic mail" can be sent to it, its an e-mail address. So what's "electronic mail"? Oh, we go to (f) again, and round and round we go.

Re:IANAL (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#17728838)

I agree with the first, but disagree with the second. Because you do a 1:1 mapping of something does not make those things one and the same. Cue all the many people with the misfortune of having their SSN be their Uni ID. It's still their Uni ID and not their SSN. On Myspace, you target the login ID or name. You don't target the email address. That Myspace maps same is not part of the equation. That Myspace (might? I don't use it enough, or know about its options on notification) subsequently inform you by email of said message is also not the same thing.

Bulletins may not be email (2, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723842)

But send enough of them, and they are definitely considered spam.

I'd be surprised if the California anti-spam laws were formulated in terms of emails, rather then "electronic messages" or something similar.

7m 100k? (1)

Robert Goatse (984232) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723636)

"Richter was already ordered to pay $7 million in a 2003 lawsuit filed by Microsoft after initially refusing to settle the dispute for $100,000."
Ouch! I don't care much about Spam either way, as it's not a huge deal for me, but man that dude is obviously not a finance major.

This doesn't make sense. (1, Redundant)

TechnoGuyRob (926031) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723666)

Anyone who's used MySpace knows that in order to see the bulletins on one's "My Bulletin Space", you have to be on a user's friend list (even the article admits "bulletin feature...sends messages to all of a user's 'friends' "). In order to be on a user's friend list, they must accept you as a friend (by clicking the accept button when they receive a request) or they must ask you to be their friend. Anyone who received bulletins from this guy either wanted/accepted it, or were just plain stupid (then again, this is MySpace) because on every single bulletin message there is a "Delete from friends" button in the bottom right corner.

I don't mean to be defending any spammers, but seriously, what? This makes no sense.

Re:This doesn't make sense. (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723738)

"Anyone who's used MySpace knows that in order to see the bulletins on one's "My Bulletin Space", you have to be on a user's friend list (even the article admits "bulletin feature...sends messages to all of a user's 'friends' "). In order to be on a user's friend list, they must accept you as a friend (by clicking the accept button when they receive a request) or they must ask you to be their friend. Anyone who received bulletins from this guy either wanted/accepted it, or were just plain stupid (then again, this is MySpace) because on every single bulletin message there is a "Delete from friends" button in the bottom right corner.

I don't mean to be defending any spammers, but seriously, what? This makes no sense."

I can understand myspace trying to reduce spam... but I think they may be going about it wrong. I created a myspace profile named "BookGoldMine.com" and all I did was send a friend request to people from one of my former schools, I never sent out a bulletin or anything like that. Three days laters I find my account deleted. Apparently bands can do this to promote, but a website promoting free books can't. Gee, that makes sense.

It makes sense if you RTFA (4, Informative)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723766)

Richter gained access to MySpace user accounts via phishing schemes, or took control of accounts that had already been phished, and then used the service's bulletin feature.

Re:It makes sense if you RTFA (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724494)

You would think this would be enough to prosecute him under "hacking" laws rather than spamming laws.
I mean really, committing fraud to phish users' passwords, and then using harvested passwords to access accounts that don't belong to you? Your or I would go to jail for that.
Of course, he probably has some kids in Russia or China he pays that does all this for him, thus making it impossible to track it to him.

Re:This doesn't make sense. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723796)

I haven't bothered RTFA, but there have been many cases of phising user accounts, then posting as them.

Re:This doesn't make sense. (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723808)

How dare you take away from the flare of this lawsuit!

Now click here for a free PS3!

Re:This doesn't make sense. (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723950)

The link is broken! I clicked it, like, a hundred times and nothing happened...

Do I get my PS3 now?

Re:This doesn't make sense. (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724378)

It's not broken! I swear it works just as well as all the myspace bulletins do!

Re:This doesn't make sense. (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723984)

I clicked at least 10 times, but it doesn't work. Nothing happens!

Re:This doesn't make sense. (1)

Silentbee (1037468) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723846)

There are workarounds currently that allow individuals to send bulletins to users that are not on your friends list.

Re:This doesn't make sense. (1)

hey0you0guy (1003040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723892)

There is a trickle effect though. When one person clicks on the bulletin unknowingly, all of their friends will receive the bulletin. This starts the ball rolling, and the bulletin appears to come from a legitimate friend which in reality is from the spammer. If these spammers make friends with other people on MySpace, then those people are the ones that begin the spread of the spam. It then grows exponentially.

Kill the bastard already! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17723800)

Why don't someone kill the f*ing bastard already? Was way simpler in the Far West time frame...
Of course, I understand someone else will step up... but then, if spammers risk their life, we may see less spam overall.

He was on the Daily Show (4, Funny)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723828)

They interviewed this guy on the Daily Show [google.com] last year. Fun watch. He insisted he was not a "spammer" but rather a "high volume e-mail deployer". He also argued that people "want" to get the e-mails he deploys.

I wonder how he will spin unsolicited bulletins sent from stolen MySpace accounts? "People enjoy receiving bulletins from their friends about valuable products and services. We just help them do that."

Re:He was on the Daily Show (4, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724090)

That's not from last year, it's from 2004.

To think of it. This dude sends 100 mio. mails per day. And CAN-SPAM or not, they let him continue for over 2 years even after this. That's 73 billion mails. Spam-excusers say "it takes only 5 seconds to delete an unwanted mail". Following that we're talking 101 million hours here. I'll leave it to someone else to put that in terms of productivity and national economy.

Scott Richter - sole destroyer of the US economy. Hey, maybe we can get him under some terrorism law?

Re:He was on the Daily Show (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724196)

It's covered under the Rules of Spam [pennypacker.org]

Rule #1: Spammers lie.
  • Lexical Contradiction: Spammers will redefine any term in order to disguise their abuse of Internet resources.
    • Sharp's Corollary: Spammers attempt to re-define "spamming" as that which they do not do.

Hopefully Rule #4 will soon follow to completion.

Rule #4: The natural course of a spamming business is to go bankrupt.

Re:He was on the Daily Show (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726750)

Heh. So I'm not a murderer I'm a 'Population Control Assistant'.

Yeah. That'll fly.

Hmm.... (1)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723834)

"The suit is aiming for monetary damages and an injunction that would permanently ban Richter and his affiliates from MySpace. The amount of money sought by MySpace has not been disclosed."

... but unconfirmed reports state that Myspace is demanding that the settlement will be paid in several large shipments of "V1@gr@" and "Ci4lis"!

Myspace bulletin "spam" isn't really spam so much (1)

rivetgeek (977479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723876)

It's mostly phishing scams to get passwords used to send out spam from the hapless users account. The process is likely totally automated.

I thought the "Spam King" was Sanford Wallace? (2, Interesting)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723912)

I know he's been gone for a long time, but it's weird to see these titles recycled. :-)

Re:I thought the "Spam King" was Sanford Wallace? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724034)

There are a few crowned "Spam Kings". The Spam Queen, Laura Betterly has retired. I'm not sure what the spammish rules of secession are, but I'm hoping for a spam War of the Roses.

Spamford: And here I prophesy: this brawl today,
Grown to this faction in the server garden,
Shall spam, between the Red Rose and the White,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.
-Löse25 Pöunds in30Däys-

Re:I thought the "Spam King" was Sanford Wallace? (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724836)

The King is dead, long live the King.

Nature abhors a vacuum, and all that.

Re:I thought the "Spam King" was Sanford Wallace? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17726182)

Hail to the new boss, same as the old boss.

Re:I thought the "Spam King" was Sanford Wallace? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17727032)

Alan Ralsky had the title for a long time, but given his past huge investments in Chinese hosting, one wonders if he's gone on to spamhosting instead. Richter claimed to have gone legit, which I always thought was good for a laugh and not much more. He seems to have moved to other media though if he's going at Myspace, since I haven't seen hide nor hair of OptinRealBig or any of its sockpuppets in over a year.

Spammer's Justice (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724096)

> MySpace Sues Spam King Scott Richter,

It would have been easy to find him. He'd been the only one on MySpace with no friends.

I hope they spammed him a summons every 3 minutes.

Simple solution (3, Funny)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724158)

All the cash being spent on lawsuits should be spent to buy Sealand and donate it to spammer's with one simple Rule, you all live there. I am sure they would jump at the chance. Then you tell the US that we have a nice target here to test your new rail gun on. See it works out great, the US is happy it got to fire off its big new guns, and we Kill off spam as who would start spamming if they realize we killed the last major spammers in a fun way. Win Win Baby.

Blame Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724334)

$5 says he blames it on his recently deceased associate, protege, IT guy, and myspace user, Dustin Parker.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=us er.viewprofile&friendid=49322606 [myspace.com]

see comments on this page:
http://www.theinternetpatrol.com/has-scott-richter -really-stopped-spamming-274million-lawsuit-by-inf inite-monkeyscom-says-no [theinternetpatrol.com]

-Anon

Spammers practically own myspace (3, Interesting)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724580)

I swear 50% of the accoutns on myspace are "spambot" accounts, usually using a hot chick for a picture. They are getting more and more advanced on trying to make the profiles look legit, by listing random bands in the music section, popular tv shows in tv shows, etc. Some even post blogger entries(typically with links to spam sites).On any time if you are "online" you'll get about 8-10 friend requests from them, recycling the same images.

Heck, they even ignore messages sent to them just like real myspace users. :)

New Slashdot feature! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17725862)

Click here [uncyclopedia.org] to track everyone that reads your Slashdot comments! It even tracks Anonymous Cowards, giving you their real name! So go to this site [uncyclopedia.org] now and get your free Slashdot comment tracker!!

And don't forget to tell all of your friends about it!

In soviet russia... (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726942)

In soviet russia, spam sues you!

Lawsuits won't work (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 7 years ago | (#17727550)

The fundamental aim of lawsuits is to make spam unprofitable. This is unfortunately not going to work unless EVERY spammer gets sued in a consistent manner, and loses consistently. As long as lawsuits are only sparsely executed against the biggest targets, there's going to be a far too tempting amount of 'under-the-radar' space.

Throwing these scumbags in jail for decades at a time for fraud and theft and vandalism is the only real solution

Re:Lawsuits won't work (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17728714)

The fundamental aim of lawsuits is to make spam unprofitable. This is unfortunately not going to work unless EVERY spammer gets sued in a consistent manner, and loses consistently. As long as lawsuits are only sparsely executed against the biggest targets, there's going to be a far too tempting amount of 'under-the-radar' space.


No, while having every spammer be sued and lose would be nice, you avoid having a tempting "under-the-radar" space if spammers of every description get sued (even if not all of them), and lose often enough and pay out awards that substantially outweigh the profit from spamming. You thereby create enough risk to make spamming unattractive, though a spammer might get lucky and either escape a lawsuit or somehow prevail.

Throwing these scumbags in jail for decades at a time for fraud and theft and vandalism is the only real solution


Criminal prosecution faces exactly the same limits as civil prosecution (it equally doesn't work unless its applied broadly and successfully), has greater public expense, and a higher burden of proof, and does less, in and of itself, for the actual victims. It certainly, particularly for the phishing and theft of service cases like this, is appropriate, but it doesn't replace civil prosecution in dealing with the overall spam problem.
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