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Reporting from San Francisco -- Facebook Inc. has struck back against spammers, winning an $873-million judgment against a Canadian man accused of sending millions of unsolicited messages about drugs and sex.
jail i suppose ?
I don't think it's been possible to get someone put in jail for non-payment of a debt for a hundred years or so.
Generally it's bankruptcy. Facebook won't really care about the money - this is a signal to the wider community sent out in order to protect their user-experience, it's not about the cash.
That said, if the spammer was particularly succesful, it's possible that Facebook might recover something in the bankruptcy, even if just their legal costs. That's if there are no other large creditors and if there are any recoverable assets at all.
In debt collection settings jail time may be imposed, especially when high profile scammers attempt to hide or divert assets. In such cases judges will hold defendants in contempt and incarcerate them until they cooperate ~ give up the assets.
I don't think millions of sex messages will make them one million dollars
It depends how many millions of messages were sent, and how much % of those converted to a sale, and how much % each sale generated, and how many different direct sale programs are involved. In the e-mail spam world, yes spammers will generate 7-digit earnings.
But $873 million is an awful lot, even for a very prolific and successful spammer. And facebook is - compared to most networks - extremely clean. I've never received a single spam message on facebook, other than those hourly status messages from my cousin (The internet will regret the day she discovers Twitter)
This is a landmark case for F8, they are very clearly saying "we will catch you and we will destroy you". Good for them!
I'm trying to imagine how the perp pulled it off, and the LA Times article doesn't divulge much. Was it all conducted within the facebook network (ie, facebook messages, notifications, commentspam, etc), or was the spam delivered outside the network (email)? Stealing people's facebook passwords is enough of a phishing challenge as it is.
Now ... is that $873M in Canadian dollars?
In debt collection settings jail time may be imposed
In Canada, I don't think so. We have not had debtor prisons in more than a 100 years. I hope we never do again, that is a midevil concept. This guy will never see the inside of a Canadian prison for a civil judgement in another country.
Anyways, I heard this morning that they can't even find this guy.
[edited by: Rugles at 2:55 pm (utc) on Nov. 25, 2008]
It's not a matter of jail-for-debt but jail for disobeying rules of procedure, etc. Scammers are often those who find themselves in jail because playing by the rules isn't their way of doing business. So they run, hide, get caught . . and are incarcerated until they comply with discovery or turnover orders.
There are also other procedures, such as "capias ad satisfaciendum" - which is a civil "body warrant" - meant to hold people (in jail) who are attempting to flee a jurisdiction to avoid satisfying a money judgment.
So, while there are no debtors prisons that I'm aware of in civilized society there are a number of ways that debtors can find themselves in prison.
Jail time isn't the norm but the exception, usually reserved for those who attempt to defeat legal process by continuing their scamming ways - such as non-compliance with court issued asset "discovery orders".
I was not aware he was not in compliance, are you?
Just ignoring a civil court case in another country, will not mean you are non-compliant. The US court system is powerful, but that power ends at the border.
I kills me to defend this guy, but that judgement is just plain stupid.
[edited by: Rugles at 3:36 pm (utc) on Nov. 25, 2008]
to protect us from being jailed because of debts.
Yes, but for the third time, there are no laws preventing you from being jailed for contempt of court related to your refusal to be forthcoming about your assets. If you freely disclose your assets and are just plain broke, you don't go to jail. But what do you think the chances are that a professional spammer might play the angles?
[and FTR, Jeff practices in New Jersey, which though some people might wish it to be so, is not part of Canada ;-) ]
This was a civil case, not criminal.
I am sure if they catch up with him, they will be able to sieze his assets, if he has any.
jailed for contempt of court related to your refusal to be forthcoming about your assets.
Not sure a civil court judgement can reach across a border and force him to do anything.
[edited by: Rugles at 5:03 pm (utc) on Nov. 25, 2008]
I don't know about Canada but in the US we have the 13th amendment to protect us from being jailed because of debts.
I'm all for stopping spammers don't get me wrong, but I don't think it takes $837 million dollars.