MySpace wins huge spam payout

FILED UNDER: Technology

MySpace has just won a legal judgement worth $234m over junk messages sent to MySpace members. The spammers, Stanford Wallace and Walter Rines worked together to create MySpace accounts and steal passwords in order to spam users.

According to MySpace, the duo sent 735,925 messages to members, luring them to sites to view a video or to buy ringtones. On top of sales, they would make money from users’ page impressions on sites they were directed to.

MySpace’s chief security officer, Hemanshu Nigam, said in a statement:
“MySpace has zero tolerance for those who attempt to act illegally on our site. The Federal District Court in Los Angeles awarded MySpace $233,777,500 under the federal CAN-SPAM Act and $1,500,000 under the California anti-phishing statute. User engagement is up 32 percent year over year while spam is significantly decreasing, proving efforts like this are working. We thank the court for serving justice upon defendants Wallace and Rines and we remain committed to punishing those who violate the law and try to harm our members.”

MySpace says that sending the spam messages cost it money and generated hundreds of complaints from users. Some of the websites allegedly contained pornographic material which could harm younger users of MySpace.

Each violation of the US CAN Spam law entitles MySpace to $100 in damages. This is tripled when spam is sent “willfully and knowingly”.

BBC News


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