Famous last words about spam

What Gates, McCain and others have said about those pesky, unwanted e-mails.

  • Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum on January 24, 2004. Gates said spam could be eradicated in two years due to better filters, sender identification and a technique called tar-pitting that slows down mail from unknown sources.

  • Scott Hazen Mueller, chairman of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (CAUCE) said in a statement on December 16, 2003 as the CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law.

  • A January 11, 2006 blog post by Jennifer Clason. Clason later pleaded guilty to violating the CAN-SPAM Act by sending spam containing graphic pornographic images.

  • Five years ago, when the US CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law, many hoped the landmark anti-spam legislation would help delete the problem of unwanted e-mail flooding in-boxes. Instead, spam volumes have never been higher, with more than 160 billion spam messages sent daily worldwide. Here's our pick of the best quotes from techies, politicians and others about spam. Read on to find out who was right, who was wrong, and who was plain ole crazy.

  • David Comings, an expert on Tourette's Syndrome, who testified on behalf of spammer Robert Alan Soloway at a sentencing hearing on July 11, 2008. Soloway was convicted under the CAN-SPAM Act and sentenced to 47 months in jail.

  • What spam king Christopher "Rizler" Smith reportedly said to a friend on the jail phone in 2006 as he discussed trying to silence a witness in his case by threatening her children. Smith was later convicted of illegally selling medications online and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

  • Senator John McCain asked Deborah Majoras during a June 2, 2004 US Senate Commerce Committee hearing for her nomination as a Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission. McCain later authored a last-minute addition to the CAN-SPAM Act to hold companies that knowingly benefit from spam accountable regardless of whether they send spam.

  • Statement from Senator Ron Wyden on November 25, 2003 when the antispam bill cleared the US Senate. Wyden co-sponsored the bill.

  • Senator Charles Schumer said on December 8, 2003 as the CAN-SPAM Act received its finishing touches by the 108th US Congress.

  • Orson Swindle, former commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, at a May 21, 2003 US Senate hearing on the CAN-SPAM Act. Swindle opposed the opt-out feature of the CAN-SPAM Act and instead favored a solution that would allow Internet users to block e-mail except from people in their address books.

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