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Spammer Penalized For Sending 10 Billion E-mails/day

A court in Brisbane has fined $210,000 to a man named Lance Thomas Atkinson from Sunshine Coast over charges that he planned the biggest Internet spam operation in the world. The spam operation dispatched 10 Billion e-mails per day.

The spam mails posted fraudulent ads offering lifestyle drugs to Internet users. They also claimed that the medicines were legally available from the USA.

Moreover, Atkinson's spamming operation, which distributed messages globally to people, asked them to visit certain websites. These websites apparently claimed to provide prescription drugs along with weight-loss and male-enhancement pills. However, a number of the drugs failed to perform the promised functions and others carried components, which could prove risky to patients of high BP or heart ailments.

Atkinson, originally from New Zealand's Christchurch, had already been fined ($16 Million) by the US authorities because he had sent several million spam mails to Americans. The spamming operation understandably was the biggest spam set-up internationally.

Atkinson had also been ordered to pay NZ$100,000 as fine by a New Zealand court for sending New Zealanders 2 Million spam mails under the same spam activity. The e-mails netted him over US$ 2 Million as sales commission.

According to reports, Atkinson pleaded guilty to sending unsolicited mails through a large-scale spamming activity to Internet surfers worldwide. The spam activity started to become public during 2007 when Simon Cox, a BBC journalist, worked to trace the origin of several spam mails came into his mailbox. Cox, subsequently, contacted Atkinson's brother and accomplice Shane Atkinson and interviewed him.

When the Australian Communications and Media Authority launched an investigation, it traced over 140,000 spam messages that originated from Lance and his company Sancash. The Authority said it had got complaints from over 100,000 computer users who received spam messages traced back to the spammer.

Justice Andrew Greenwood said - undoubtedly, Australians regarded the dissemination of such large-scale unsolicited e-mails as "annoying and irritating," as reported by AUSTRALIAN IT on December 22, 2009.

Greenwood also stated that Atkinson's actions called for anti-spam software constantly updated to ward off unsolicited materials.

Related article: Spammers Continue their Campaigns Successfully

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