Spammers handed record US$234 million fine -- eat that

MySpace has won a court judgement against spammers

The US CAN-SPAM law has chewed another alleged spam outfit, this time handing out a world record fine of US$234 million to two individuals.

Social networking site MySpace won a Los Angeles court judgement against Sanford "spamford" Wallace and his partner Walter Rines for creating and hijacking accounts on the service to flood users with spam adverts for a range of goods.

It is the account hijacking that appears to have angered My Space in particular, some of it carried out by obtaining passwords fraudulently.

"MySpace has zero tolerance for those who attempt to act illegally on our site," MySpace's chief security officer, Hemanshu Nigam, was quoted as saying after the ruling. "We remain committed to punishing those who violate the law and try to harm our members."

The men sent 730,000 spam messages to MySpace users, some of which appeared to come from trusted contacts, rending asunder the whole concept that social networkers are in control of the contacts with whom they choose to associate.

The huge sum involved is derived almost entirely using a precise calculation of US$100 recompense for every user abused, a sum that was then tripled for the deliberate manner in which the men acted. My Space also added its own costs for delivery and bandwidth consumption.

"Anybody who's been thinking about engaging in spam are going to say, 'Wow, I better not go there.' Spammers don't want to be prosecuted. They are there to make money. It's our job to send a message to stop them," Nigam said to the Associated Press.

It remains unclear how, or even if, MySpace will ever be able to claim the sums from the men, one of whom has faced large fines in the past, albeit not on this extraordinary scale.

Awards against spammers tend to be within the territory of the low millions, though one organization did recently lodge a massive US$1 billion claim against a separate group of alleged spammers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?