Alex Knapp has an interesting point:
It’s viscerally satisfying, sure, but 20 years for spamming? Seems disproportionate, doesn’t it?
Of course, “20 years” is actually much less than that by the time deals are cut, “good time” is awarded, and so forth. Plus, there’s the probability of parole. But even so, how does one calculate the appropriate punishment for the theft of people’s time and computer resources? Is it worth a minute in jail for each unwanted “horsey porn” message? Probably. A 365-day year is 525,600 minutes. Twenty years would be 10,512,000 minutes (not factoring in leap years). According to the story,
Between July 11 and Aug. 11, more than 100,000 complaints on spam messages linked to the two men were reported, Kilgore said. On at least three days, more than 10,000 messages were transmitted.
I’m guessing 20 years is pretty light.