As technology continues to evolve, law enforcement is faced with the task of dealing with accusations of internet crimes.
Recently, a man had been the focus of media attention for his involvement in a spam scheme that affected a half million users on the popular social networking site Facebook. The man, claiming to be the Internet's "Spam King", had previously been ordered by a federal judge to stay off social media networks. But when he turned himself in to FBI agents, it was clear that he did not follow that order and now is facing stiff punishment for his latest spamming.
According to the article, the man allegedly pirated 500,000 Facebook accounts and inundated users with spam messages. His mode of operation consisted of using a self-developed app to gain illegal access to the Facebook accounts with phishing messages, which routed users to fake sites that collected their account information. Using the account information, the man was then able to spam those users' friends as well.
He faces a number of federal charges including several counts of fraud and criminal contempt after ignoring orders to remain off certain social networks. The man is potentially facing 16 years in prison; he could also be ordered to pay a hefty fine.
This is just the latest in a long past of Internet-related charges for the man. While the details of his past offenses are not given in the article, it is likely that those charges stemmed from spamming incidents as well.
Penalties for federal crimes such as fraud are often severe. But this man has also intentionally violated a previous court order. This could result to more serious penalties, greater than if he had not accessed the networking sites.
Source: Reuters: "'Spam King' charged with bombarding Facebook users," Jeremy Pelofsky, Aug. 5, 2011.