State Sues Spammer - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

1/13/05

State Sues Spammer

by Donna McCollum

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed the state's first lawsuit against one of the world's largest spam operations. The case against a University of Texas student and a Californian will set the precedent in an effort to crack down on the illegal e-mails.

Texas consumers and businesses waste precious time and money dealing with the spamming. Glen Collier is one of them. He operates an environmental company. He deals with clients all over the state. But before Collier gets to work he must first deal with lots of unwanted, and sometimes illegal, e-mails. "The first thing in the morning and the last thing in the evening is we go through and wipe out all the spam. For every legitimate e-mail we get 50-100 spam messages."

"Spam is one of the most aggravating and pervasive problems facing consumers today." That's what Attorney General Abbott said during his announcement to shut down one of the world's worst spam operations.

In only a six month period, undercover or "trap" e-mail accounts alone received 24,000 e-mails by the defendants. "I'm sure I have some of his messages," Collier said with a laugh.

Most of the illegal e-mails pitch mortgage refinancing services, but other spammers illegally send offensive material. A lot of the material is offensive and pornographic.

Computer consultant Tim Lewallen is helping collier control the spamming. He supports e-mail spam laws, but questions how they can tackle a world wide problem. "No matter how many laws we pass in the U.S. there still are going to be people around the world who can spam your e-mail account, so it's going to have to be addressed probably on a technical level more than a political level," said Lewallen.

The problem may never go away. That means it's still important to protect yourself from becoming a spam victim. http://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/spam.shtml

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