Ex-AOLer gets one day in jail per 189K IDs stolen

Summary:Sending a clear message to anybody who comes to the aid of a spammer by illicitly securing electronic IDs, New York U.S.

Sending a clear message to anybody who comes to the aid of a spammer by illicitly securing electronic IDs, New York U.S. District Judge (yes, ID theft is a felony) Alvin Hellerstein has sentenced former American Online employee Jason Smathers to 15 months in prison for stealing 92 million AOL screen names and then selling them to a spammer for $28,000.  If you do the math, he sold each name for a mere 3/100ths of an American cent.  Apparently, Smathers pleaded for leniency and got it. His jailtime works out to about one day of time for every 189,000 names stolen (or for every $57 made) which if you ask me seems a little on the light side.  A fine is also under consideration (the Judge has hinted at $84,000 -- three times what Smathers was paid for the "loot").   Now, if I was the judge (a hangin' judge at that),....

Topics: Tech Industry

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David Berlind was fomerly the executive editor of ZDNet. David holds a BBA in Computer Information Systems. Prior to becoming a tech journalist in 1991, David was an IT manager.

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