Man makes career out of suing e-mail spammers

There may be a lot people who thought about it, but there is one who decided to actually do it – Daniel Balsam from San Francisco quit his job and started his new career: suing spamming companies.

He used to work as a marketer, but eight years ago, one spam e-mail proved to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and made him decide to seek revenge. He decided to quit his job, enroll in law school and start suing companies that disregard California’s anti-spam law which – among other things – forbids companies to send out e-mails that have subject lines containing false “free” offers or make it look like a noncommercial e-mail.

He prospered in his new career. According to the SeattlePI, he has filed and won more that 40 suits raised in small claims court and some in higher courts, whether by decision of the court or by reaching a settlement with the accused party. All in all, he has allegedly earned himself more that $1 million so far.

Among the companies he sued are Various Inc. (the company that operates AdultFriendFinder.com), Tagged.com, Valueclick Inc., and many others. Some of them decided to fight back and sue him for threatening to reveal details of settlements that he was forbidden to disclose.

Many of these companies and their lawyers claim that Balsam “abuses the processes by using small claims court” in order to make out-of-state companies settle instead of choosing to fight the claims. So far, it seems that they get no sympathy from the judges – he continues to win and earn himself a living.

The companies accuse him on being in it for the money – and no doubt, they are partially right. But there is also no doubt that he’s doing something that a lot of us dream of. “I feel like I’m doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet,” he says.

Judging from the comments the story received, many regular users think of him as a hero. “May he grow so successful that he can begin suing spammers for the rest of us as well. I would pay money for a service that would file lawsuits against spammers on my behalf,” wrote one of the commenters, and I can’t help thinking there are many who would agree.




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