We've all seen this address a thousand times; blank@donotreply.com.

Spammers, newsletter authors and companies who legitimately send out mass emails to customers and employees use this as a default return address all the time.

There's only one problem; donotreply.com is a real domain and everytime someone ignores the obvious directive their reply goes to a guy named Chet that owns donotreply.com.

Chet claims to be a humble programmer from Seattle who's been through hell over this.

His servers have imploded from the overload of responses. He's been threatened with lawsuits for obtaining sensitive, private information through e-mails sent to him erroneously. He points out he didn't ask for those e-mails. Companies and, even the government, beg to differ.

Chet's answer to the problem; capitalize on it. When Chet gets a sensitive e-mail, he rats out the contents on his blog and then charges the sender's author to pay to take it down.

I believe that's called blackmail.

Chet claims he donates the money to charity. I believe that's still called blackmail.

Chet's owned donotreply.com since 2000. He's had eight years to just let go of the domain and not re-register it.

Chet is a lot of things; victim is not one of them.

Tag this under "only on the Internet".

Notice I'm not linking to anything on this post. That's on purpose.