Monday, December 27, 2010

Daniel Balsam: Man against spam

Posted By on Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 1:38 PM

I hate spam — both the kind in the can and the crap that fills my e-mail inbox. That's why Daniel Balsam, an attorney who runs DanHatesSpam.com, is my hero of the day. He's won 42 court cases, and more than a million dollars, by suing spammers who blatantly ignore anti-spamming laws.

Here's more from MSNBC.com and the Associated Press:

Eight years ago, Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many e-mail pitches to enlarge his breasts.

Enraged, he launched a website called Danhatesspam.com, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations.

"I feel like I'm doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet," Balsam said.

From San Francisco Superior Court small claims court to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Balsam, based in San Francisco, has filed many lawsuits, including dozens before he graduated law school in 2008, against e-mail marketers he says violate anti-spamming laws.

His many victories are mere rain drops in the ocean considering that Cisco Systems Inc. estimates that there are 200 billion spam messages circulating a day, accounting for 90 percent of all e-mail.

Read the entire article, by Paul Elias, here.

Here's a video described as "the life of a spammer." It's a parody, but still — after watching this if you don't want to shoot rubber bands at this guy you're a much better person than I am.

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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