Spam's Big Bang!

The volume of junk e-mail has exploded this year. Can the Internet be saved?

Cable-TV descramblers! FDA-approved diet pills! Viagra without a prescription! Instant access to XXX movies! Dramatically enhanced orgasms! If you have ever received e-mails advertising products and services like these--some quite within the law, some clearly outside it--chances are they came from a guy like Howard Carmack, professional spammer.

Using three computers and working out of his mother's home in Buffalo, N.Y., Carmack sent an impressive 857,500,000 unsolicited e-mails in one year, something that is perfectly legal in New York State. But Carmack crossed the line, according to EarthLink, his Internet service provider, when he set up 343 accounts using stolen...

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