The nation’s top court on Monday classified auto blog commenting and mass emailing software as malware programs, citing their damage to the digital network.
A South Korean programmer on Feb. 13 was charged with selling seven types of spamming software that offer services such as collecting email addresses, auto-blog commenting and bulk emailing to an unspecified number of individuals.
The Supreme Court sentenced the man, surnamed Kim, to eight months in prison with a two-year stay of execution and 120 hours of community service.
“The purpose of these programs is to repeatedly publish commercial posts targeting large numbers of people at random. They confuse and overload the communication network of information,” the court said in its ruling.
Court records show that Kim sold spamming software designed to send emails and post blog comments with advertising content, between May 2007 and July 2011. In the process, the software illegally extracted more than 1 million email addresses.
To advertise the programs, the programmer uploaded an average of 80,000 posts per day using his own software. Kim was found to have received 40.4 million won ($37,700), for the 126 sales he made.
The court said Kim’s practices violate a domestic law that is intended to promote the information and communications network.
“Due to the spread of such spamming software, the Internet users’ inboxes are filled with commercial emails,” the court said.
By Suk Gee-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)