Russia Goes After 1 Guy, Worldwide Spam Drops By 1/5

After Russian authorities started an investigation into alleged spammaster Igor A. Gusev, worldwide spam has dropped by a sustained one-fifth.

Gusev, who lived openly is Moscow, is accused of being the kingpin behind, which paid other spammers to advertise prescription drugs. Spamhaus listed it as the world’s single largest sponsor of spam. The site is now closed.

Why Russian authorities chose to exercise their authority is unclear, but the site went offline two weeks before the President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia met with Silicon Valley execs. Medvedev has been on a campaign to clean up Russia’s internet image, which has been seen as a veritable haven for hackers, spammers, virus-coders, and smut peddlers.

E-Mail Spam Falls After Russian Crackdown [NYT]