The Man Who Makes His Living Suing Email Spammers

Daniel Balsam hates email spam so much that he quit his job to fight it. He has plenty of critics who say he abuses small claims court to sue out-of-state companies that would rather settle than fight expensive legal claims, but he's found enough success that a hobby has turned into a career. "I feel comfortable doing what I'm doing," he told the Associated Press. "And I'm not going away."

Enraged, he launched a Web site called, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations.

"I feel like I'm doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet," Balsam said.

From San Francisco Superior Court small claims court to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Balsam, based in San Francisco, has filed many lawsuits, including dozens before he graduated law school in 2008, against e-mail marketers he says violate anti-spamming laws.

His many victories are mere rain drops in the ocean considering that Cisco Systems Inc. estimates that there are 200 billion spam messages circulating a day, accounting for 90 percent of all e-mail.

Still, Balsam settles enough lawsuits and collects enough from judgments to make a living. He has racked up well in excess of $1 million in court judgments and lawsuit settlements with companies accused of sending illegal spam.

Read the full story at the Associated Press.