Spammer must pay $11bn to ISP

And can't go online for three years...

And can't go online for three years...

A Florida man has been ordered to pay $11.2bn for sending millions of spam messages through the network of a small US internet service provider (ISP).

Iowa-based CIS Internet Services won the ruling against James McCalla, who sent more than 280 million unsolicited emails touting debt consolidation and mortgage services, a report from local newspaper the Quad City Times reports.

CIS owner Robert Kramer is reported to have said he will probably not see any of the money.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, commented: "This judgement against a spammer is undoubtedly the biggest we have ever heard of.

"Spam is not just a nuisance for individual computer users who find their inboxes clogged up with unwanted mail but for ISPs who are hit in the pocket by having to pay for the bandwidth to deliver and store hundreds of millions of messages."

District judge Charles Wolle also ruled that McCalla will be prohibited from accessing the internet for three years.

In 2004, CIS was awarded more than $1bn from 300 spammers after servers received up to 10 million spam emails in a day, according to court documents.