Facebook scored a win against a notorious spammer in federal court.
The social networking site was awarded $711 million in damages Oct. 29 by a U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif. The judge found spammer Sanford Wallace guilty of violating the Can-Spam Act as well as a temporary restraining order.
The award is a sizable victory for Facebook, which sued Wallace and two others in February for allegedly using phishing sites and other tactics to seize control of Facebook accounts for use in spamming operations.
Wallace is no stranger to spam and spyware-related lawsuits. During the past several years, he has been sued by everyone from the Federal Trade Commission to MySpace, and earned the nicknames "Spamford" and "Spam King."
Despite the win, Facebook attorney Sam O'Rourke was cautious about the effect it would have.
"While we don't expect to receive the vast majority of the award, we hope that this will act as a continued deterrent against these criminals," blogged O'Rourke, Facebook's lead counsel for litigation and intellectual property. "Most notably, the judge referred Wallace to the U.S. Attorney's Office with a request that Wallace be prosecuted for criminal contempt, which means that in addition to the judgment, he now faces possible jail time. This is another important victory in our fight against spam. We will continue to pursue damages againstother spammers."