A federal judge in the U.S. state of Iowa has awarded a small Internet service provider more than one billion dollars in a lawsuit aimed against unsolicited commercial e-mails, known as spam.


The ruling Friday is believed to be the largest judgment ever against people or companies who send spam.


Robert Kramer, whose company provides e-mail service for about 5,000 users in Iowa, had filed a lawsuit against some 300 spammers in 2003.


Mr. Kramer's lawyer says the entire judgment will probably never be collected, but he hopes to recover costs caused by the spammers.


Mr. Kramer said spam clogged his server system, frequently disabling it.  He said he spent thousands of dollars upgrading his servers to handle the heavy flow of spam.


Some information for this report provided by AP.