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Facebook wins its first lawsuit against a spammer, and similar lawsuits planned in the future

Popular social networking web site Facebook has won a legal judgment against Adam Guerbuez, a spammer in Canada who has kept a low profile since the lawsuit was filed several months ago.

Guerbuez is said to have sent more than 4 million spam messages to Facebook users in March and April, after hijacking Facebook accounts and using bots to then log into the stolen accounts and start sending out the spam.

Guerbuez, who did not show up to court or defend himself during the event, has become the latest person who must make payments under the federal CAN-SPAM anti-spam law.  

The Palo Alto, Ca.-based web site probably won't receive much of the court-imposed $837M fine, but plan on collecting what they can.

"We know where he is and where he lives and we're looking for him to execute the judgment," Facebook's legal counsel Sam O'Rourke said.  "We have no illusions that we'll get $873 million from this guy, but from what we can tell he has substantial resources.  If he has $1 million, we'll take $1 million.

Facebook understands spammers won't likely stop targeting the No. 1 social networking site in the world, but hopes it will make them think twice before attacking the site.

"Everyone who participates constructively in Facebook should feel confident that we are fighting hard to protect you against spam and other online nuisances," said Max Kelly, Facebook director of security.

The site also plans to launch lawsuits against other spammers, but did not say when that will take place.

MySpace also won a $230M court decision against Sanford "Spamford" Wallace and one of Wallace's business partners.  A month later, MySpace received a $6M settlement from another spammer, Scott Richter, who also sent spam to MySpace users.





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