Thursday, January 12, 2006

Michigan Spammer heading to Jail

In a first under the CAN-SPAM Act, a Michigan resident will likely receive jail time for spamming. As reported in the Detroit News: Feds to send spammer to slammer
A West Bloomfield man, the lead defendant in the nation's first anti-spam prosecution brought under a 2004 law, has reached a plea deal that will result in at least two years in prison.

Daniel J. Lin is expected to plead guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to three felony counts, including two charges of fraud in connection with electronic mail, according to a court filing and his Detroit attorney, Juan Mateo.

Lin was charged with three other West Bloomfield men in April 2004 with sending millions of illegal spam e-mails.
Interestingly enough, Lin was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and that charge will be a part of the plea agreement.

While its a positive step, considering this is just the result of the first prosecution since 2003, its time for the Feds to step up prosecuting spammers. One down, many more sources of spam flooding my inbox to go.

Update (1/17/06): Blogger Expatriate Owl emails that one of the problems with CAN-SPAM is that it lacks a private right of action allowing those who are spammed to sue the spammers. I couldn't agree more. Instead of the having just the Federal Government, with its relatively limited resources to worry about (after all the FBI has more important things to investigate than spammers) imagine if the spammers could be sued by everyone to whom they sent spam illegally to. I'd think the amount of spam would drop dramatically.

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