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Old 03-04-2011, 11:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 'Spam king' released from prison, disavows his former ways

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After more than four years in prison, Robert Soloway is now a free man. Dubbed the 'Spam King' for his role as the head of a spam ring that sent an estimated 10 trillion junk e-mails between 2003 and 2007, Soloway is now busy reintegrating himself into everyday life, according to Wired.

He was first arrested in May 2007 and charged with 35 counts including fraud, identity theft, and money laundering, and sentenced in July 2008. Soloway was widely considered one of the top ten spammers in the world, and had also lost multimillion dollar suits to Microsoft and an Oklahoma ISP as a result of his actions.

It is estimated that the spam ring he created earned him some $20,000 every day, according to reports. These days he claims he only has a "couple hundred" in his bank account, and works in a Seattle print shop making $10 an hour.

Freedom will be kind of a mirage for several years: as part of his plea deal, Soloway has agreed to monitoring of his online activities for a period of three years following his release. Don't expect him to return to his spamming ways, either.

"If I send out spam e-mails, that's a violation of my probation. End of story," he told Wired's Jim Popkin. "I'm being very careful. If I send out an e-mail, I'm not even going probably to CC it. I'll send a unique e-mail to each person."

Soloway also freely admits that he was "out of control" and "self-centered," and broke the law with what he did. This is certainly a far cry from the freewheeling twentysomething of years past who often seemed to try to goad authorities into catching him, which they eventually did.

Getting back online may be Soloway's biggest challenge, however. When he was locked up, MySpace was king, and Twitter didn't even exist. "I've never logged onto Facebook before but I hear it's nice. In terms of e-mail, Facebook has it built in," he quipped.

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