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schadeaux

Spammer shuts down

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A New Zealand email spammer has shut his business after receiving abuse following the posting of his personal details on the web.

Shane Atkinson said on a good day he and his associates would send out 100 million messages.

But his identity as the man behind the spam promoting penis enlargement pills, was revealed by the New Zealand Herald last week.

He said since the article was published anti-spam activists had been "having a field day". He had received more than 20 phone calls, five of them obscene.

His street address and phone numbers were "plastered all over the web", he had been subscribed to a gay-dating site and his email address had been added to "tons of email lists".

Mr Atkinson said the abuse made him worry for the safety of his children. "I have already banned my five-year-old from answering the phone," he said.

The article also led to rackshack.com, the US web service that hosts Mr Atkinson's servers, being entered in the Spam Early Warning System - which many networks use for blocking email traffic.

Rackshack gave notice it would shut two of Mr Atkinson's servers because of the listing. He has now decided to get out of the spamming business because of the negative feedback.

He said he never intended to break any regulations and has asked affiliates to stop doing the work for him.

"I sort of feel good now about stopping this. I'll just stick to search engines and websites. That's still plenty of fun and money," he said.

Story filed: 13:21 Wednesday 20th August 2003

Ananova

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