Nigeria looks to put spammers in the slammer

Tuesdayswmantucover_2Is this the end of an era? Nigeria is cracking down on its best-known export—email scams—by putting a law up for vote that would finally make these scams a criminal matter. The move is the latest by the government there to project a tough stance on the issue—back in August, the country even hosted a conference on how to crack down on spam. According to this Reuters story, spammers who are caught could face up to five years in prison, and possibly have to give up the proceeds derived from their, uh, entrepreneurship. But sadly, if effective (although we kinda doubt the practice will entirely cease), it will deprive us of some of the best—if inadvertent—humor online. On the other hand, if the Nigerian spammer goes the way of the 20 gigabyte iPod, it could boost sales of Tuesdays with Mantu, Rich Siegel’s book about his email correspondence with a Nigerian con artist, for nostalgia value alone.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor