A Midwest internet service provider was recently awarded an $11.2 billion judgment against a Florida man for sending millions of unsolicited e-mails advertising mortgage and debt consolidation services reports Wired News. That’s right – billions! The judgment was issued against James McCalla of Florida on December 23rd. He has also barred from accessing the internet for three years.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2003 by Iowa’s CIS Internet Services. “This ruling sets a new standard,” said CIS owner Robert Kramer III. “Gross abusers of e-mail risk exposure to public ridicule as well as the economic death penalty.” Kramer claimed that McCalla sent more than 280 million illegal spam e-mails into CIS’s network and stated that under state law he was entitled to $10 per illegal e-mail. Even though he won the lawsuit, he doesn’t expect to receive any of the judgment money.
As one who has to sort through spam on a day to day basis to get to the email that I do want to read, I am always thrilled to see stories like this. I certainly hope that the ISP gets some monetary compensation from the defendant even if it isn’t the entire amount but even more so I am glad to see that the spammer was banned from the Internet for 3 years.
Will that make a dent in email spam? Probably not. But as the Internet continues to age, I think we will eventually see stricter laws imposed against individuals and even companies who choose to market themselves through mass unsolicited emails.