Dutch spammer to appear in US court

FTC sues Martijn Bevelander

Dutch mass spammer Martijn Bevelander may have to appear before a federal judge. The Federal Trade Commission has filed an amended complaint in its pending federal court action against US spam flooder Brian Westby, and added as defendants Martijn Bevelander, and two Dutch companies, Maps Holding B.V. and PB Planning & Services B.V.

The Commission's original complaint, announced on April 17, 2003, alleged that Westby sent consumers sexually explicit spam with deceptive subject lines that disguised the content.

Dutch Internet entrepreneur Martijn Beverlander was exposed this summer by the BBC as a mass spammer. As well as hosting pornographic websites for notorious spam gangs such as Superzonda, Bevelander had allegedly sent large quantities of spam for mostly American clients through an Amsterdam-based subsidiary called CyberAngels.

Even more revealing was that Bevelander had teamed up with Brian Westby, who had to appear for a U.S. District Court in April for running an allegedly illegal spam operation that used deceptively bland subject lines, false return addresses and empty "reply-to" links to expose internet users, including children, to sexually explicit material.

Westby, who like Bevelander is in his early twenties, was on the board of Maps Holding (SPAM spelled backwards) until May this year. Westby is considered to be one of the most active purveyors of pornographic junk e-mail. According to the FTC, Westby has netted at least $1 million from his porn operations. ®

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