The “Spam King” Faces Jail in Facebook Anti-Spamming Case

Facebook awarded $711 million in damages; Accused spammer now faces criminal charges

Thursday, October 29, a San Jose, CA court awarded Facebook $711 million in damages in their anti-spam case against Internet marketer Sanford Wallace, the second largest anti-spam judgment ever. The judge also referred Wallace to the US Attorney’s office for prosecution on criminal contempt of court charges, which brings with it jail time.

Facebook sued Wallace for accessing users’ accounts without permission to send fake posts and messages to their networks.

The “Spam King”, or sometimes “Spamford”, Wallace has been in the Internet spamming game since its inception, and has faced many a judge for it. Wallace led a company in the 1990s that reportedly sent 30 million junk emails a day.  In 2006, he was fined $4 million by the Federal Trade Commission for running spyware.

In 2008, Wallace and his business partner Walter Rines lost a $230 million judgment under the federal anti-spam law CAN-SPAM to MySpace for sending junk messages to its members.

On its official blog, Sam O’Rourke, associate general counsel for Facebook, commented that although the company will most likely not see a great majority of the money that “we hope that this will act as a continued deterrent against these criminals. (…) This is another important victory in our fight against spam. We will continue to pursue damages against other spammers.”

In November of 2008, Facebook won an $873 million judgment against spammers Antlantis Blue Capital for sending sexually explicit messages to users, the largest CAN-SPAM judgment to date.

 

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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