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.

Want to participate? Please create an account a new account or log in.

Other Discussions Started by Scott Hardie

Round XXVI

To conclude several ongoing discussions about the goo game (or at least merge them into one): I have decided not to tamper with the rules this round. Go »

Cats and Dogs

Yesterday's entry in Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log got me thinking about the intelligence of cats and dogs. Go »

It's Not Like They Wear Armor Anyway

Kelly found naked Klingons. I would say "so the web has come to this," but the web came to this sort of thing years ago. Go »

The Apple and the Tree

When I was a kid, I asked my father what he'd do if he won the lottery. He said right away that he'd pay off his bills and debt. Go »

A Question About the Question

Is it all right in this day and age for a woman to propose marriage to a man? I thought it was. I read that on the last episode of "The Bachelorette," as soon as she picked her man, he got down on one knee and proposed. Go »

Obama's 2012

This album probably won't be your thing if you dislike Obama. But if you do like the man, or are just interested in fly-on-the-wall photographs of what it's like in the White House and on the campaign trail regardless of the administration's policies, a best of 2012 set has collected the consistently excellent work of the official photographers who quietly document Obama's every working day. Go »