Man May Have Sent 2 Billion Spam E-Mails

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — An Australian man under investigation for illegal spamming sent more than 2 billion e-mails promoting Viagra in a year, an official said Wednesday.

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Danyel Molenaar, a project manager for the Dutch Independent Regulator of Post and Telecommunications, said the man had rented 35 servers for around 14,000 Australian dollars (US$10,493; euro8,256) each per month from a small Internet service provider in the Netherlands to carry out the alleged spam campaign.

"These 35 servers were used just for sending spam day-in, day-out for at least a year, probably longer," Molenaar said Wednesday. "This operation probably sent out billions and billions of e-mails."

Australia has some of the toughest laws in the world against spamming, the notoriously hard-to-stop practice of flooding as many inboxes as possible with unwanted sales messages in the hope some of the receivers will reply.

Under Australia's Spam Act of 2003, it is illegal for Australian residents to be involved in the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mails, even if they are generated from outside the country.

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