Maybe it’s ironic, or perhaps it’s entirely fitting, that Nigeria is hosting a conference on how to crack down on spam. This is a nation, after all, where e-mail scams are so prevalent that the legal term for them—419s, referring to the relevant section of the criminal code—has entered the vernacular. (For an amusing look at one American’s experience with a Nigerian con artist, check out Rich Siegel’s Tuesdays With Mantu.) Jonathan Rusch, the U.S. Department of Justice’s special counsel for fraud prevention, is among the speakers at this conference, so you have to assume it’s legit. But will anyone take e-mailed invitations seriously?
—Posted by Tim Nudd