By Will Sturgeon
Special to CNET News.com
June 5, 2006
A major spammer who was accused of sending up to 25 million e-mails
per day has settled a lawsuit with Microsoft and the state of Texas.
The settlement has cost Ryan Pitylak $1 million, as well as the
seizure of many of the assets he accumulated during a short-lived
career as one of the world's worst spammers.
At the peak of his spamming activity, the 24-year-old Texas resident
was listed as the world's fourth most-prolific spammer by antispam
Now Pitylak is claiming something of an epiphany, saying he has seen
the error of his ways and will dedicate his efforts to trying to rid
the world of nuisance e-mail. He has even taken to referring to
himself as an "antispam activist" in an apparent change of heart of
On Saturday, Pitylak wrote in his blog: "Over time I have come to see
how I was wrong to think of spam as just a game of cat and mouse with
corporate e-mail administrators. I now understand why so much effort
is put into stopping it. The settlements with Microsoft and the
Attorney General's Office have been a serious reality check: harsh but
good, and in the public's best interest."
He added: "I am pleased to announce that I am now a part of the
anti-spam community, having started an Internet security company that
offers my clients advice on systems to protect against spam. I'm now
working earnestly to help other entrepreneurs avoid the traps that
deceived me and led me to make questionable business choices."
Will Sturgeon of Silicon.com reported from London.
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