Facebook Wins $873m Lawsuit Against Spam Master

In one of the largest judgement ever handed down under the US CAN-SPAM act of 2004, a Canadian citizen has been penalised with USD 873million for bombarding around 4 million junk emails to Facebook users.

Back in March-April 2008, Adam Guerbuez with his company, Atlantis Blue Capital, dug out Facebook login information of several users through phishing attacks and third party sources, to send spam messages for male enhancement pills, marijuana, and other sexually explicit materials on email inboxes and Facebook “Walls”.

The junk messages would appear to be from people added on user’s profile, but were in fact put there by autobots monitored by Guerbuez.

Facebook sued the spammer in August in US District Court for North Calfornia, by complaining that “The voluminous and illicit nature of defendants’ advertisements has tainted the Facebook experience for affected Facebook users”; in addition, the social networking giant also stated that it spent around USD 5000 in a year, for monitoring and preventing spam mails.

Judge Jeremy Fogel, who imposed the fine, didn’t elucidate on how he calculated the USD 837million figure, which comprises USD 437million each, for both statutory damages and aggravated statutory damages; moreover, Guerbuez will also be liable to attorney’s charges and other costs, figures on which will be released by 12 December, the court decision added.

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