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Spam The Courts IT

Facebook Awarded $711 Million In Anti-Spam Case 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the yet-another-spam-king-dethroned dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Facebook is on a never-before-seen legal rampage against high profile internet spammers. Today Facebook was awarded yet another nine-figure settlement, this time for over $700 million. Facebook also has a criminal contempt case on Wallace, which means a high likelihood of prison, a big win for the internet and a milestone in cyber law. 'The record demonstrates that Wallace willfully violated the statutes in question with blatant disregard for the rights of Facebook and the thousands of Facebook users whose accounts were compromised by his conduct,' Jeremy Fogel wrote in his judgment order, which permanently prohibits Wallace from accessing the Facebook Web site or creating a Facebook account, among other restrictions."
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Facebook Awarded $711 Million In Anti-Spam Case

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  • Re:Stupid Name (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pz (113803) on Friday October 30, 2009 @01:58PM (#29926503) Journal

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the "Can-Spam Act" is meant to stop people from spamming, specifically from the false and misleading type?

    I believe the intent was to have the first word in CAN-SPAM be a verb, with the meaning of "can" being, "to throw in the trash."

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday October 30, 2009 @02:01PM (#29926549) Homepage
    There's a certain point where we need to consider the death penalty for this sort of thing. Sure, we normally only use the death penalty for heinous crimes, but from a utilitarian perspective it is quite clear that people like Sanford Wallace are doing far more damage to society. If Wallace is taken out and shot he'll lose about 365*50*24= 438,000 life hours. On the other hand, even a year or two of Wallace's normal behavior causes the rest of society to lose far more time. We should consider a death penalty for serious spammers or possibly a long sentence where he is kept far away from any computer.
  • by JBL2 (994604) on Friday October 30, 2009 @02:03PM (#29926567)
    ... the money to the users who suffered damage?
  • by nametaken (610866) on Friday October 30, 2009 @02:06PM (#29926617)

    You notice that there's a billion dollars in risk here?

    Sounds to me like there is considerable incentive to be an epic scale douchebag of the internet. You'd think he'd be a gajillionaire, right?

    Except...

    "As of October 2003, he is working as a DJ in Las Vegas, making weekly appearances at OPM nightclub (name changed to 'Poetry Nightclub' October 5, 2007) in Caesars Palace Forum Shops on the Las Vegas Strip. Wallace performs under the name DJ MasterWeb.[8]"

    "Wallace filed for bankruptcy in June, 2009. On 2009-10-29, a Northern California District Court Judge awarded Facebook $711M in damages.[12]. Although unlikely to collect due to his bankruptcy, the presiding judge in the case also recommended Criminal Contempt charges against Wallace, who may face jail time as a result." -wiki

    So uh, it's not like he's ridonculously wealthy as a result of being a sleezebag? What gives???

  • by Gybrwe666 (1007849) on Friday October 30, 2009 @02:17PM (#29926783)

    1) Start Web 2.0 web site utilizing every buzzword you can find
    2) Desparately woo users until you get large enough to matter
    3) Sit down a year or more later to desperately figure out a revenue model
    4) Provide Spammers a way to proliferate
    5) Sue them!
    6) PROFIT$$$$$$$

    Not only that, but this also avoids the usual problem in Slashdot business plans in that there is no question marks in either steps 3 or 4.

    Anyone got a good idea?

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Friday October 30, 2009 @02:21PM (#29926851) Homepage
    You agreed at some point to buy a Microsoft product. You or someone you are helping opted in. And most likely once you've got it working you will actually have saved time overall. There's no claim that a) people opted in to Wallace's crap or b) that anyone will save time overall from what Wallace is doing.
  • by eh2o (471262) on Friday October 30, 2009 @02:38PM (#29927059)

    Spammer makes profit from facebook users. Facebook (+lawyers) make profit from spammer. Is this a new business model? Why isn't this a class-action lawsuit?

  • by efalk (935211) on Friday October 30, 2009 @03:25PM (#29927671)

    Wallace is the guy that invented mass email spam. If his ISP had shut him down on day 1, the world might be a different place today. Spam exists because ISPs tolerate it.

    It is almost unheard of for a plaintiff to collect money from a spammer. They're either broke, or they've successfully hidden their money. The $711M judgment is purely symbolic. Facebook knows full well that they'll never collect a dime.

    I agree that jail time is the only solution. Wallace is the recidivist's recidivist.

  • by 10101001 10101001 (732688) on Friday October 30, 2009 @03:34PM (#29927787) Journal

    You agreed at some point to buy a Microsoft product. You or someone you are helping opted in. And most likely once you've got it working you will actually have saved time overall.

    I and someone else didn't opt in to Microsoft wasting our time. More importantly, me helping someone else doesn't save me any time overall. Perhaps that someone else bears some of the blame, but I don't think all the blame can be shifted on people who quite clearly are incapable (either intellectually or through gross lack of information available) of having truly opted in to all that was entailed.

    There's no claim that a) people opted in to Wallace's crap or b) that anyone will save time overall from what Wallace is doing.

    People opted in to Wallace's crap the same way they "opted-in" to Microsoft's crap: it's a consequence of using the system for which most people acknowledge there really is no solution, short of avoiding the system. With e-mail, you can't hold the system at fault nor can the system be fixed, but in Microsoft's case you can hold them at fault and in many cases they can fix the problem. As for saving time overall, presumably somewhere Wallace spammed someone who actually bought what Wallace was peddling, thereby saving themself time overall. Your argument only plays well if you look at overall societal utility, but then I'm not really sure Microsoft gets a positive score in that area either (perhaps they and all OS makers (and Wallace) do by shear inherent increased efficiency due to computers and telecommunication.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:34PM (#29928547) Homepage Journal

    Bleeding heart conservatives...

    Look, when I die, it's likely to be a horrible ordeal. Have you ever seen anyone in the last stages of Alsheimer's or cancer? You're going to die in a car wreck or other accident, of some terrible disease. Very few are as lucky as my late ex-mother in law, who just stopped in mid sentence like a robot whose battery was yanked out.

    We're all under a sentence of death, and most of us are sentenced to death by torture. And we have no idea when it will happen. You might live to be 110, or you may keel over ten minutes from now.

    The man condemned by other men to die, on the other hand, know exactly when they're going to die. They have a chance to make their peace with any creator they happen to believe in. Then they are painlessly and without muss or fuss humanely put to sleep like a beloved pet.

    I'd rather they die naturally, in prison, when their time comes, letting them think about the horror they have wreaked on people.

    You capital punishment advocates are far too kind.

  • by cetialphav (246516) on Friday October 30, 2009 @04:46PM (#29928679)

    easily go get a job on Wall Street. Then he could make millions just as unethically, but legally.

    It still isn't that easy because of competition. On Wall Street, there are thousands of ruthless, smart people who would do anything to be super rich. Don't be fooled by what you see in the media. Most people on Wall Street are not super rich just like most actors in Hollywood are not super stars. The vast majority are working really hard to give themselves a chance to hit it big. Being super smart and super unethical doesn't make you special on Wall Street. By being a spammer, he didn't have competition so it was easy.

  • by Rary (566291) on Friday October 30, 2009 @06:55PM (#29929867)

    What I don't get is why a joker like that - who is obviously intelligent - doesn't just find a legal way to get rich. It can't be that hard.

    Maybe he doesn't want to.

    Most people who are really good at doing something got to be that good because they enjoy doing it.

    If he enjoyed doing something that is both profitable and legal, then he'd probably be just as rich with no legal problems. But he doesn't. He enjoys doing exactly what he is doing.

This is a good time to punt work.

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