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MySpace Awarded $230 Million in Compensation from Spammers

The popular social networking site, MySpace, on May 12, 2008, has gained victory in a $230 Million lawsuit it filed against the infamous 'Spam King", Sanford Wallace and his accomplice Walter Rines. MySpace had accused the spammers for sending junk e-mails to its users, and the resultant judgment stood out for being the greatest step ever against spamming operations.

Wallace, who heads the company, Cyber Promotions, had sent out a massive 30 Million spam mails per day during the 1990s. Wallace followed the proceedings of lawsuits from leading ISPs such as AOL of Time Warner Inc., only to emerge again in a certain spyware suit that paved the way for a federal judgment worth $4 Million against the spammer in 2006.

Hemanshu Nigam, Chief Security Officer, MySpace, said that MySpace is totally intolerant of those who tried to do illegal acts on its site, and is committed to castigate those who breach the law and attempt to harm its members, as reported by AssociatedPress on May 14, 2008.

Wallace and Rines opened their own MySpace accounts or hijacked others' by stealing their passwords through acts of phishing. After this, they e-mailed to other members of the site, informing them about a cool movie or a similar site. When members clicked the links, the pair tried to make money by selling them items like ring tones.

MySpace said that both Wallace and Rines distributed over 730,000 e-mails to MySpace members after making the messages appear as they were from known friends, and thus legitimate. This act of the spammers now makes them liable to pay MySpace $100 in damages for each violation of the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. The amount would be tripled if the damage were conducted 'knowingly and willfully'.

In court documents, MySpace said that the spamming activities resulted in delivery and bandwidth-related expenses alongwith hundreds of complaints from users. The organization also said that some of the spammers' links pointed to Websites containing adult content, potentially hurting teens on MySpace.

Audrey B. Collins, District Judge of the US, has ordered both the spammers to pay several million dollars in compensation to MySpace.

Related article: MySpace Wants Apple To Update QuickTime

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