Today, a California court awarded Facebook $711 million in civil damages against Sanford Wallace, the notorious sell proclaimed “spam king” who is also known by the derisive nickname ‘Spamford.’ The court found Wallace guilty of violating the CAN-SPAM act, and he could face time in prison if convicted.
Wallace allegedly accessed Facebook accounts without obtaining permission, and used them to make bogus wall posts and spam the account holders’ friends. Those actions run afoul of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, which sets guidelines for commercial e-mails, which are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Wallace is best known for his e-mail marketing company Cyber Promotions, which was at one time the largest source of unsolicited e-mail in the world. In the proceeding years, another Wallace venture called SmartBOT faced FTC action for infecting computers with spyware.
Facebook believes that the judgment will help put spammers out of business. “We’re confident that today’s ruling will act as a powerful deterrent against those who would abuse Facebook and its users,” spokesperson Simon Axten said in a statement to the press.
I’d ask Wallace for comment, but I’m hesitant to offer him my e-mail address. Once again, he’s proven himself to be a real class act.