Saturday, July 16, 2005
Eric Carlson was angry about how poorly the Phillies were playing -- no great shock with Larry Bowa as the manager. While Carlson no doubt acted like others fans by booing vociferously at games (including Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny), he also decided to hack into computers to send a large volume of e-mails protesting the team's dismal performance. Earlier this year he was convicted on 79 counts of computer fraud and identity theft, and received a four year term of imprisonment. According to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (here):
Carlson was a dissatisfied Philadelphia Phillies fan and to convey his dissatisfaction to the world, hacked into computers belonging to many individuals and from them launched hundreds of thousands of spam e-mails complaining about the Phillies. When he launched these e-mails, he faked, or “spoofed,” the “From” line of the e-mail, using the e-mail addresses of writers at the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer. He also used e-mail addresses belonging to the Philadelphia Phillies and writers at The Sporting News, Fox Sports, ESPN, and officials at Knight Ridder, the parent company of the Inquirer and Daily News. This made it appear as if the e-mails had come from these writers. The testimony at the trial showed that because many of the e-mail addresses that Carlson sent his messages to were no longer valid, tens of thousands of e-mails were “returned” to the e-mail boxes of the persons whose addresses were spoofed.
Fours years is a substantial sentence for a white collar crime. Carlson might be able to take some small solace in the fact that the Phillies have been playing better lately, although any true fan will tell you that it won't last. Just ask Gene Mauch. (ph)