Facebook, a popular social networking site, recently obtained a $873-million default judgment against a Canadian spammer from a US court. Facebook alleged that Adam Guerbuez of Montréal fraudulently gained access to Facebook users’ accounts and sent over four million spam messages through Facebook’s network over a two-month period. According to the complaint, some of the messages contained sexually explicit material.
The court ordered Guerbuez and his company, Atlantis Blue Capital, to pay $436.6 million in statutory damages and $436.6 million in aggravated statutory damages for violations of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act). The judge also prohibited Guerbuez and his company from any future contact with Facebook. While Facebook has indicated that it does not expect to collect the judgment, it hopes the award will deter other spammers.
The award is reportedly the largest ever under the CAN-SPAM Act, topping the $230-million judgment MySpace obtained against spammers Sanford Wallace and Walter Rines earlier in 2008.