Scott Hardie | March 10, 2004
Reading the good news about hundreds of spammers getting sued today, I was again reminded of what, for me, remains an unsolved mystery: How can spammers be that difficult to trace? They must have offline contact information in order to do business. Even if they can do business without providing a phone number or address directly to customers, they must have a bank account in order to cash a check or a merchant account in order to charge a credit card. Unless these small-time losers marketing "herbal V!@gr@" are masters of credit fraud, I don't see how they can be that hard to identify.

And I know it's not a simple matter of tracing the spam via the product advertised. Otherwise, I could get Michael Eisner locked up by sending out a forged email hawking Disney products. But if identifying the spammers is indeed the hard part, and building a case against them afterwards is the easy part, then why not trace them using offline means?

Anna Gregoline | March 10, 2004
Is it because it's hard to prove whether someone who owns a credit card is the same person as who wrote the email? Otherwise, I have no idea. You bring up a good point.

I'm not sure this prosecution will really end up impacting the spam bombardment of our email boxes, but I, too, was happy to see it.


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