Israel's Internet junk man

Amir Gans, the man Microsoft Israel once alleged was responsible for half of Israel's junk e-mail, talks with the 'Post.'

March 31, 2007 22:43
1 minute read.


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Amir Gans, the man Microsoft Israel once alleged was responsible for half of Israel's junk e-mail, had no problem with talking with The Jerusalem Post about his past as a spam expert. It is a mistake, he said, to automatically assume that spammers are necessarily hi-tech criminals - although he could not recall if he was as adept at the practice as Microsoft claimed. In 2005, Microsoft Israel and MSN opened a NIS 2.5 million lawsuit against Gans in hopes of convincing other spammers to stop cluttering people's e-mail boxes. They alleged that Gans sent more than a million e-mails a day to Hotmail subscribers that year and that as a result had cost them $50m. The plaintiffs dropped the suit when Gans counter sued. Gans said he never used junk mail to create "bot networks" that infect people's computers in a way that sought information from the machines. "But these days, in order to get spam into inboxes, you pretty much have to," he said. At one time, he said, spam was good. "But the way it's used today, it's unsupervised. You get hundreds every day, so our inboxes suffer from it. If you got five or six a day, it would be different. It's also less effective this way." Drawing an analogy with the prohibition of alcohol in the United States during the 1920s. "As long as you fight it, it'll be mafia," he said. To put it another way, he said, it should be regulated but not outlawed. Gans, who currently heads New Approach Marketing, is working on a new form of Internet advertising called "pay-per-chat." Under this model, Web sites receive money from advertisers every time a user clicks on a link that takes him to a site where he can chat with a sales representative for a product. Gans expects "it will be big" after it rolls out within the next month. Asked if he had any regrets about his spamming past, Gans said, "I can give you my bank details and then you can tell me if you'd have any regrets."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

[illustrative photo]
September 24, 2011
Diabetes may significantly increase risk of dementia


Cookie Settings