Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted Facebook’s request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Sanford Wallace and two other alleged spammers.
In its complaint, Facebook claimed that the defendants violated CAN-SPAM, the California Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the California Anti-Phishing Act by running a scheme that involved creating Facebook accounts, obtaining Facebook passwords, and then impersonating users to send messages. Facebook maintains that these email messages hurt the company’s reputation and goodwill.
Even though Facebook obtained the TRO, Facebook ultimately will have to prove that CAN-SPAM applies to messages posted to a social networking site to prevail on its CAN-SPAM claims. Although some argue that CAN-SPAM only applies to unsolicited messages sent to e-mail addresses, MySpace was successful in a case in Los Angeles federal court where the court ruled that in-network messages were covered by CAN-SPAM.