Classmates.com Settles Lawsuit over Deceptive Emails

TechFlash reports: "Seattle-based Classmates.com has agreed to pay up to $9.5 million to its users to settle a lawsuit that accused the social network of sending emails that made people believe their old friends from high school were reaching out to connect -- only to discover, after paying for a membership, that their long-lost buddies were nowhere to be found."

On Defending Jigsaw & Similar...

This morning, an anonymous commenter attempted to drop a truth bomb on my post about how Jigsaw was blacklisted by Spamhaus. (They still are, by the way.)

In his comment, he points out that postal junk mail sucks (which I agree with), but he doesn't make it clear why it was important to share that tidbit with us. That spam is a suitable substitute for junk mail? I'm not buying it.

Twitter Has Spammers, Too

I'm a pretty heavy user of Twitter. I've got a few followers, I pay attention to what a lot of people say, and I know a number of people that follow what I say. I enjoy this new method of interacting with people-- it's been a lot of fun. But, like every other way of electronic communication, spammers were bound to discover it and attempt to exploit it eventually. In the Twitter-sphere, the way spam works might be a bit different than in email, but I'll be darned if it doesn't just jump right out at me, with my background in spam fighting and email best practices.

Spamhaus: Waledac Botnet Culling Had Little Effect

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK Reports. "The throttling of Waledac, which Microsoft claimed to have achieved by means of legal action last week, has led to no appreciable reduction of junk mail coming from the botnet, anti-spam organisation Spamhaus told ZDNet UK on Tuesday.

"'The amount of spam coming from Waledac [before the takedown] was less than one percent [of all spam], and that hasn't changed much,' said Spamhaus chief information officer Richard Cox. 'There's been a slight change, nothing major, and we would expect it to be a lot different.'"

Alan Ralsky Goes to Jail, Does Not Pass Go

Spamhaus reports: "Leaving a wake of over 12-years of criminal spamming and trillions of sent junk emails behind him, long time ROKSO listed spammer Alan Ralsky is finally behind the walls of a US Federal Prison. After pleading guilty to multiple federal criminal charges, and after time extensions to "get his affairs in order", Ralsky reported to FCI Morgantown in north-central West Virginia on March 1st to start serving his 4-year, 3-month sentence."

Ralsky was the guy who complained when angry spam recipients figured out his home address and signed him up for tons of junk mail, magazines, and catalogs. I wonder if he's wishing for that reading material now, to help pass the time for the next four years or so.

Is Online Anonymity a Bad Thing?

My previous post talking about the Anonwhois.org project (of which I have no connection with whatsoever-- I just think it's neat) generated a lot of comments and feedback both in comments and in email. I thought I would take a few minutes here and answer a few of the more popular the comments and questions that were posed.