Friday, February 23, 2007

The 9 Billion Spams

Didn't Arthur C Clarke have a story, the 9 billion names of God? That's the only reason I can think of why this number resonates:


A Dutch spammer who used compromised PCs to spamvertise web sites has been fined €75,000 ($97,000) by Opta, the Netherlands telecoms regulator

The man - named only as Mr X - used 600-700 compromised PCs to send about nine billion spam messages promoting penis pills, pornographic websites and other assorted tat. X's 14-month junk mail campaign reportedly earned him an estimated € 40,000 before he was collared in November 2005.

However, he didn't stop because he got caught, no, markets took care of him before the law:

Opta said Microsoft has assisted in its investigation. In mitigation, X argued that he had stopped spamming by the time he was arrested - not because he realised his activities were wrong, but because he "simply wasn't earning enough money".

Isn't that a nice liitle proof again of the contention that markets curb behaviour rather better than the law or regulation?

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