How Russia Stopped One Fifth Of the World's Spam

There are official 20% fewer penis enlargement emails hitting your spam folder, thanks to the efforts of the Russian government. How'd they do it? By making an effort.

Russian authorities this week cracked down on one Igor A. Gusev, "suspected spam kingpin:"

Moscow police authorities said Mr. Gusev, 31, was a central figure in the operations of SpamIt.com, which paid spammers to promote online pharmacies, sometimes quite lewdly. SpamIt.com suddenly stopped operating on Sept. 27. With less financial incentive to send their junk mail, spammers curtailed their activity by an estimated 50 billion messages a day.

Gusev and SpamIt.com had both been operating openly in Moscow for several years until Russia decided to step up its enforcement. And sure, there are still 200 billion unwanted emails blasting off every day. But paring them down by a fifth is a more than decent start. [NY Times]