The Economics of Spam

| Total Words: 2078

Tennessee resident K. C. “Khan” Smith owes the internet service provider EarthLink $24 million. According to the CNN, in August 2001 he was slapped with a lawsuit accusing him of violating federal and state Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statutes, the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984, the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 and numerous other state laws. On July 19, 2002 – having failed to appear in court – the judge ruled against him. Mr. Smith is a spammer.

Brightmail, a vendor of e-mail filters and anti-spam applications warned that close to 5 million spam “attacks” or “bursts” occurred in June 2002 and that spam has mushroomed 450 percent since June 2001. This pace continued unabated well into the beginning of 2004 when the introduction of spam filters began to take effect. PC World concurs.

Between one half and three quarters of all e-mail messages are spam or UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email) – unsolicited and intrusive commercial ads, mostly concerned with sex, scams, get rich quick schemes, financial services and products, and health articles of...

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