Top spammer gets nine years in the slam.

John Ziska reports that he’s seen a dropoff in his volume of spam recently, and links it to the recent conviction and nine-year prison term for one of the top ten spammers.

Nine years for spamming: Ziska notes that it seems harsh, but if the internet is to remain useful it will have to be policed, and the scale of the net and the low cost of transmission means that the scale of damage any individual can do is huge. This one man has probably wasted an aggregate amount of other people’s time amounting to several human lifespans

Add to that the expense and bother of filtering programs and the changes in habits that spamming forces, notably not putting a click-through on a webpage.

I’ve already had serveral important messages routed to the “junk” file. There’s a whole mailbox at my markarkleiman.com address that I simply can’t open because it’s so big it crashes the computer; heaven only knows what’s in there.

So I’m glad the judge decided to make an example of this guy.

I hadn’t noticed any falloff myself, though.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com