The 12 Spammiest Countries
(We're #1—and It's Not Even Close)

Spain is a surprising number two.
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Alexis Madrigal, based on Sophos data

Americans like to associate their spam with other countries. They joke about Chinese spammers or Nigerians or Russians. It's a time-honored nativist tradition. 

But, according to the new quarterly report from the security and spam monitoring company, Sophos, computers inside these United States relay—by far—the most spam. And we have in every quarter of the past year.

To be clear, Sophos doesn't measure the point of origin for the spam, but something more embarrassing and troubling. Spam is relayed by compromised computers strung into vast networks called botnets. So what we really see here is the deeply insecure state of American computing, more than the number of ne'er-do-wells.

According to the 2013 spam trend report by Kaspersky security, nearly 70 percent of email traffic flow is now spam. (It's worth looking at Kaspersky's list of spammy countries by email point of origin: China is number one, but we're number two.)

 

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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