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The Olympic Skier Known as the `Spam King'

Dale Begg-Smith, of Australia, smiles after receiving his silver medal for men's moguls at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monday, Feb. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Marcio Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Sanchez
Winning a medal at the Vancouver Olympic Games doesn't normally make you a target of derision from your fellow countrymen.

Then again, most Olympic athletes don't have the colorful background of Dale Begg-Smith, the former world-champion mogul skier who is almost as well known for reports about his involvement with adware, browser pop-ups, and other detritus of the seamier side of the Internet.

Canada's Globe and Mail described Begg-Smith as a "Lamborghini-driving 24-year-old who made a fortune peddling invasive Internet spyware." The Australian newspaper cited Begg-Smith's companies as "the origin of spyware programs that can redirect a computer to porn sites or install software that floods the computer with pop-up ads." A New Zealand newspaper reported that his nickname was "spam king," and Silicon Alley Insider dubbed him the "Hated Internet Millionaire Olympic Mogul Champion."

Begg-Smith may have just become the most hated Olympic-level athlete since figure-skater-turned-boxer Tonya Harding.

You can read the rest of this piece at CNET

By Declan McCullagh