A former America Online employee, who admitted he became a cyberspace "outlaw" when he sold all 92 million screen names and e-mail addresses to spammers, has been sentenced to one year and three months in prison.

Twenty-five-year-old Jason Smathers expressed regret for his actions, saying,  "I know I've done something very wrong."

He apologised to U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York for a theft that resulted in spammers sending out up to 7 billion unsolicited e-mails. Hellerstein credited him for his contrition and efforts to help the government. Smathers pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges