Last week, Seattle-based "spam king" Robert Alan Soloway was arrested and charged with fraud, money laundering and identity theft. He is facing up to 65 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. I'm not holding my breath expecting this arrest to stop the flood of junk e-mail I receive, however. Law enforcement cannot stop spam with periodic high-profile busts, or with sentences greater than those received by rapists or murderers. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix, and we should search for something other than these symbolic incarcerations.
Spam is a difficult challenge, but it's one we will not solve with Soloway's incarceration. We need a broader and more comprehensive plan that incorporates technology, private investigation and enforcement and public education. Otherwise we create more problems for e-mail users than solutions, while failing to stop the money flow. And we embarrass ourselves by punishing spammers more severely than criminals who physically hurt people.
Read more here.