Spammer Must Pay $11.2 Billion


A court has slapped a Florida spammer with an $11.2 billion fine, setting a new precedent for fines against spammers, though the ruling is unlikely to have much effect on the volume of spam. Internet service provider CIS Internet Services, which provides Internet service to parts of Iowa and Illinois, had sued James McCalla for sending more than 28 million e-mail solicitations that fraudulently used the CIS domain as the return address. In addition to the fine, McCalla is forbidden from accessing the Internet for three years. Robert Kramer III, owner of CIS, welcomed the ruling, calling it the "economic death penalty," though he acknowledged that he does not expect to receive any of the money awarded. John Mozena, co-founder and vice president of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail, said this and other rulings against spammers have not had a significant effect on the total volume of spam, which he estimated continues to be about two-thirds of all e-mail traffic. What is needed, he argued, rather than current laws, which only forbid deceptive or fraudulent spam, is a prohibition against all spam.

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