August 10, 2005 4:39 AM PDT

Microsoft to fight crime with spammer's money

Software giant Microsoft will invest the $7 million it is expecting from a damages settlement with "spam king" Scott Richter into fighting Internet crimes, paying its legal bills and "rewarding" the state of New York.

The announcement was made by Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith in an open letter posted on the company's Web site.

After covering its legal expenses, Microsoft will dedicate $5 million to helping law enforcement agencies address computer-related crimes, Smith said.

"In appreciation of the role of the New York attorney general, another $1 million of this settlement money will be directed to New York state...to expand computer-related skills training for youths and adults," he said in the letter.

Describing Richter--who is said to have sent or assisted others in sending more than 38 billion e-mails a year--as one of the world's most "prolific" spammers, Smith called the settlement a milestone and expressed hope the decision would send a clear warning to those dabbling in spamming.

Richter could have paid a fraction of the millions if he had settled at the end of 2004 when Microsoft allegedly offered to settle the dispute for $100,000.

Then, Richter said: "We told them where they could go stick it. It's nothing but harassment. It's free publicity for them. They pay a few thousand bucks to file the lawsuits. They get a bunch of free press, and people sign up for their spam-fighting products."

At the end of March, Richter filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for his e-mail marketing company, OptInRealBig.com. One condition of the settlement with Microsoft was that Richter would file a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy proceedings.

Munir Kotadia of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

8 comments

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Hmmm
Here's a quote from the BBC on the same story:

"As a result of joint lawsuits filed in 2003 by Microsoft and New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer, Mr Richter pledged he would now only send spam e-mails to people who had confirmed they were willing to receive them."

ONLY SEND SPAM.. to people who had confirmed they were WILLING to receive them! Let me rephrase that - Only send "unwanted junk" to people who had confirmed they want to receive "unwanted junk". Yeah, that make sense :-/
Posted by (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But he's not a spammer, you see...
He's a "high-volume Email deployer". And yes, that's an exact quote from Richter himself.

Also, be sure to ask him about "Viagakra" and the female "Clitorious".
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
Hmmm
Here's a quote from the BBC on the same story:

"As a result of joint lawsuits filed in 2003 by Microsoft and New York State attorney general Eliot Spitzer, Mr Richter pledged he would now only send spam e-mails to people who had confirmed they were willing to receive them."

ONLY SEND SPAM.. to people who had confirmed they were WILLING to receive them! Let me rephrase that - Only send "unwanted junk" to people who had confirmed they want to receive "unwanted junk". Yeah, that make sense :-/
Posted by (56 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But he's not a spammer, you see...
He's a "high-volume Email deployer". And yes, that's an exact quote from Richter himself.

Also, be sure to ask him about "Viagakra" and the female "Clitorious".
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
Good job MS!!!
I'm sure the MS bashers will eventually show up and figure out some way to whine about this. Until then, I'm glad MS is going after the spammers.
Posted by (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good job MS!!!
I'm sure the MS bashers will eventually show up and figure out some way to whine about this. Until then, I'm glad MS is going after the spammers.
Posted by (402 comments )
Reply Link Flag
<sigh>
Ask yourselves who made the real money? Follow
the money folks. It is the companies selling the
crap that are the originators of this advertising
technique. It is too politically intractable to
go after the real culprits. Microsoft and other
large conglomerates will use these law suits
for public relations and yes "free advertising"
while solving nothing.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
<sigh>
Ask yourselves who made the real money? Follow
the money folks. It is the companies selling the
crap that are the originators of this advertising
technique. It is too politically intractable to
go after the real culprits. Microsoft and other
large conglomerates will use these law suits
for public relations and yes "free advertising"
while solving nothing.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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