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A federal judge in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose awarded Facebook almost $711 million in its action against infamous junk mail king Sanford Wallace. According to the court action, Wallace and two associates got access to Facebook accounts with phishing emails and used them to send spam that advertised pornography and gambling web sites.

U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled that Wallace was responsible for 14,214,753 violations of the CAN-SPAM Act and awarded Facebook $710,737,650. Fogel also said he would ask the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute Wallace for contempt of court.

Facebook brought the suit last March.

We applaud this court decision, in spite of the fact that Facebook probably won’t collect much of the settlement. Wallace was hit with a $4.1 million FTC action in 2006 and a court order to pay MySpace $234 million after a trial last year. At least, it should take one major, blatant spammer to bankruptcy.

Short of a very radical change, as in Eugene Kaspersky’s idea for ending the anonymous use of the Internet or serious government involvement across the globe, the reduction of spam just isn’t going to happen.

Various sources have put the prevalence of spam in email at 85-90 percent for the last few months.

Story here.

Tom Kelchner