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The Courts Spam

Prison Terms For Spammer Ralsky, Scientology DoS Attacker 328

Posted by timothy
from the at-least-ralksy's-is-longer dept.
tsu doh nimh writes "Alan Ralsky, the 64-year-old dubbed the 'Godfather of Spam,' was sentenced to 51 months in prison on Monday, the Washington Post's Security Fix blog reports. According to anti-spam group Spamhaus.org, Ralsky has been spamming since at least 1997, using dozens of aliases and tens of thousands of 'zombies' or hacked PCs to relay junk e-mail. Also sentenced — to 40 months in jail — was Ralsky's 48-year-old son-in-law, Scott K. Bradley, and two other men named last year in a 41-count indictment for wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and violations of the CAN-SPAM Act." And eldavojohn writes "19-year-old Dmitriy Guzner, Anonymous member and Scientology DDoS attacker, received one year and one day in jail for his admitted crime. His sentence could have been a maximum ten years. According to the Church of Scientology, Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'"
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Prison Terms For Spammer Ralsky, Scientology DoS Attacker

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  • by Paranatural (661514) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:02PM (#30215578)

    Scientology members complaining about being harassed is like Mormons bitching about missionaries knocking on their doors.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mknutty (1684802)
      Yeah, but on the scale of evil bastards, I'd rather spammers get comeuppance than the scientologists. Especially if the spam included DoS attacks, hacking, and bomb threats. For most people, scientology is just a bad joke, but spammers are screwing with the everyday lives of pretty much everyone out there. And one year in jail is not enough disincentive.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:32PM (#30215974)

        Spamming doesn't ruin lives.

        • Neither does CoS without the subject's consent. AFAIK CoS isn't kidnapping unwilling people and forcing them to become members, so it's kind of Darwinian in principle. I personally believe the tax-exempt status for CoS should be revoked. Then they'd vanish overnight. But CoS exists because there is a demand for such perverse entities, and when they're gone there will be another. The problem isn't L.Ron's merry bunch of wackos, it's the cult member tendency (read mental illness) of so many people in our soci
        • by Tanktalus (794810)

          Tell that to those who fall for the Nigerian scams that are spammed to everyone.

        • by selven (1556643)

          So stealing 25 cents from every single person in the US is acceptable? Just because your crimes aren't noticeable to each individual victim doesn't mean that the damage doesn't add up on a national scale.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Suzuran (163234)
        Spamming didn't murder Lisa McPherson.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by billcopc (196330)

        If the DoS here stands for "Denial of Scientology", I'd say it's fair game.

        Look at it this way: most Americans of middle-eastern descent or Muslim faith have been steadily harassed and mistreated over at least the past 8 years, even though less than 1 per 100 MILLION have been identified as known criminals, and the supposed Muslim-originated attack on the WTC resulted in 2976 counted deaths. That's two victims for every million Muslims.

        Scientologists' numbers are unknown, but are estimated to be less than

    • by digitig (1056110) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:24PM (#30216608)
      It wasn't the CoS that was on trial. I've been on a jury that felt that the "victim" of a crime should have got time too, but that didn't change our conviction that the accused had committed the crime so we had to return a guilty verdict.
  • by loftwyr (36717) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:03PM (#30215584)

    Since when is visiting a website vandalism? This is terrifying! /. could have me arrested for almost 10 years of visiting!

  • by cptnapalm (120276) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:04PM (#30215602)

    '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'

    Well, that's one way to keep busy.

    • by quangdog (1002624)
      He seriously placed more than 8k phone calls for the purpose of harassing them? Did he place all these calls himself, or hire a small army?

      I think my limit for placing calls to complain about something is around 4 - the 5th is to just cancel and move on.
      • by trapnest (1608791) <janusofzeal@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:28PM (#30215910)

        He didn't hire a small army, he was part of a small army.
        http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Chanology [encycloped...matica.com] - NSFW
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanology [wikipedia.org]

        • by EmperorKagato (689705) <sakamura@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:44PM (#30216098) Homepage Journal

          Project Chanology has nothing to do with the orchestration of DDoS attacks and harassment attempts with the Church of Scientology.

          The members of the small group that decided to perform these attacks did this on their own which caused losts of infighting between Anonymous since performing anything illegal goes against Project Chanology's cause.

          • by nstlgc (945418)
            You obviously have no idea of what you're talking about, and I say that with the deepest respect for the people involved in Chanology and nothing but contempt for the Cult of Scientology.
        • by hoggoth (414195) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:56PM (#30216234) Journal

          Just FYI for those who don't have the time or inclination to decipher 'Anonymous' and '/b/'s sarcastic parody insider language: Anonymous is not a "group" in the traditional sense. Nobody "joins" Anonymous. Everybody who feels like doing a prank is a member of Anonymous for the moment they are doing the prank and they are not as soon as the prank is done. Anonymous has no consensus or agreement on their goals or motives. Nobody can request action on behalf of Anonymous ("Anonymous is not your personal army").

          More than anything else "Anonymous" is a term or meme that describes the mob effect that occurs in response to shared outrage or shared giggles. In this way it is not entirely unlike Slashdot. It is ridiculous when someone says 'Slashdot believes this' or 'Slashdot agrees with that'.

          It is grossly unfair for Guzner to get the blame for over 9,000 phone calls and the rest as a "member of Anonymous". Nobody is a member of Anonymous, and everyone is a member of Anonymous.

          • by Korin43 (881732)

            Everybody who feels like doing a prank is a member of Anonymous for the moment they are doing the prank and they are not as soon as the prank is done.

            Not true. Anyone who claims to be a member of Anonymous is (whether they are currently participating in a raid or not).

  • scientology (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:04PM (#30215606)

    According to the Church of Scientology, Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with ... 141 million hits on its website ...

    Sorry, what was the website URL again?

  • by douglips (513461) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:07PM (#30215654) Homepage Journal

    He took it right in the ass. It was beautiful.

    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=02/12/06/1554227 [slashdot.org]

    • >> According to the Church of Scientology, Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'"

      s/harassed and attacked/enlightened/

    • by AVryhof (142320)

      Is that link work safe?

      Did someone upload the Goatse guy to Slashdot's servers?

      God Save us all!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:11PM (#30215706)

    ...it's a tax evasion scheme.

  • But Scientology is just pure evil. I can't help but sympathize even if I can't condone. I have mixed feelings though...no one should have their lives threatened...but another part of me thinks Scientologists kind of deserve it because of the suffering they cause. Very confusing. It would all be easier if people didn't like and exploit each other. Too bad that will never happen in my life time.
  • by thisnamestoolong (1584383) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:20PM (#30215806)
    ...Never gonna give you up!
  • scientology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dan667 (564390) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:26PM (#30215864)
    is not a church.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lord Ender (156273)

      Who gave you the ability to decide that, the Pope?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sponge Bath (413667)

        All real churches involve pasta and pirates.

      • Re:scientology (Score:5, Informative)

        by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:42PM (#30216066)

        They are a cult.

        People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations;
        Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
        They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader;
        They get a new identity based on the group;
        They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives, and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.

        From everything I've read about and seen of Scientolgists and Scientology, they do all of those things.

        Contrast that to say...Judaism or Islam, theres a big difference.

      • by H0p313ss (811249)
        If this was irony it was brilliant.
  • Prison talk (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mishotaki (957104) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:27PM (#30215888)

    "So, you're the guy who keeps sending me those male enhancement meds spam huh?"

    "No sir, i'm only specialising in female spam, nothing else!"

    "Yeah, right! well i'll make an example for the next spammer who dares saying that i need such drugs!"

    *drops pants*

    "Mommy!"

    • *drops pants*

      "Mommy! .... Well obviously the drugs have worked for you."

      • by Anonymous Coward
        it was inevitable that a story about someone the hivemind dislikes has a insensitive joke about prison rape.

        and of course, it's also inevitable that we'll have some nimby-pimpby sanctimonious PC jerkwad stating that isn't funny.
  • Dmitriy Guzner: (Score:5, Informative)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <<circletimessquare> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:30PM (#30215938) Homepage Journal

    secularist martyr

    you don't fight vile "religions" that zombify and enslave the weak with kind words and cupcakes

    this is the way the mafia known as the church of scientology plays:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Snow_White [wikipedia.org]

    turn around is fair play

    • How do you use kind words and cupcakes to zombify and enslave the weak? Though I can see why you don't want to fight religions that can do that.

  • How fitting for the godfather.

  • What was the sentencing judge trying to say with that sentence? It's a very sort of "traditional" span of time. Was this a "you don't do any real harm, but you must realize that this behavior is not acceptable?" type of message?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chris Mattern (191822)

      It's part of the US's Common Law background. A prison sentence for a felony is longer than one year; it's one of the things that distinguishes a felony from a misdemeanor.

  • Hrmmmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by SLot (82781) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @01:47PM (#30216132) Homepage Journal

    '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'

    part of me mentally read all of those numbers as 'over 9000'

  • yah but... (Score:4, Funny)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:00PM (#30216306) Journal

    "Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'"

    They always say that.

  • Ok... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by koinu (472851) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:00PM (#30216316)

    8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church^Wsect leaders

    Where do I send fan mail for this guy?

  • Fighting monsters (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NonSequor (230139)

    "Nineteen year old Dmitriy Guzner, Anonymous member and Scientology DDoS attacker, received one year and one day in jail for his admitted crime. His sentence could have been a maximum ten years. According to the Church of Scientology, Anonymous has harassed and attacked them with '8,139 threatening phone calls, 3.6 million e-mails, 141 million hits on its website, ten acts of vandalism against its property, 22 bomb threats, and eight death threats against Church leaders.'"

    He who fights with monsters might t

  • Anonymous is winning (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AnonymousX (1632759) on Tuesday November 24, 2009 @02:07PM (#30216424) Homepage
    Anonymous has done a lot since the early days of prank calls and whatnot. The legal protests as well as other actions by Anonymous (also legal) have delivered a crushing and unprecedented blow to Scientology. Anon has probably done more to fuck them over than even the FBI did at the end of the 1970's. Now because of Anon, there is massive negative media coverage of the scilons. Hollywood is rebelling against them and more and more celebs are walking away or saying no. And on top of all that, now the Australian government is taking a hard look at Scientology as a criminal organization with a Senator actually denouncing them in open Parmiment. Anonymous has enabled many ex-scientologists to speak out as well as family of those still inside to seek communication with their loved ones without fear of reprisal. Anonymous enabled this by breaking the back of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs and has them so tied up, they can't prioritize which targets to go after and have lost their effectiveness almost entirely. After nearly 2 years of this, only one conviction against an anon and for a lowly DDOS attack that happened in the early few weeks of the movement is a testament to how good Anonymous is at staying within the law. Sure it may cut out some form of lulz, but we have found that action against the Scientologists that hurts them but leaves us legally untouchable generates way more lulz because it leaves them no lawful recourse against us.
  • "Scientology has harassed and annoyed them with Millions of phone calls, millions of mailed brochures, censoring websites or any thing else they see that doesn't make them money, acts of vandalism against, threats, and death threats against former Church members and non members."

    There, fixed that for you.

  • They use those same tactics against what they consider to be their enemies, but when someone turns the tables on them, they shed a few crocodile tears and run to the police.

    They have broken into the offices of the FBI and have members of their cult have died under suspicious circumstances while under their care, yet they have the gall to call what others do illegal.

  • Was Ralsky actually arrested and tried in person, or is he still running around free? The closest answer to that which I can find is at his wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org] where it states that

    On June 22, 2009, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering charges and violating the CAN-SPAM Act.[10] He agreed to assist in the prosecution of other spammers in exchange for sentencing consideration

    By comparison, trials for other spammers [wikipedia.org] have been held without them present [bbc.co.uk] as they tend to not stay in one place long.

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