It's called “phishing,” and it's how Adam Guerbuez of Montreal was able to gain access to Facebook users' accounts and bombard the social network with sexually explicit spam messages. But were Mr. Guerbuez to do the same within Canadian borders, an affected company would have no legal recourse.
In a landmark ruling Monday, U.S. federal Judge Jeremy Fogel awarded Facebook $873-million (U.S.) in damages after finding Mr. Guerbuez was in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) which prohibits the distribution of mass e-mail messages that contain false or misleading information.
Facebook spokesman Barry Schnitt said it is unlikely Mr. Geurbez will honour what Facebook says is the largest ruling in the history of the CAN-SPAM Act.
“It's certainly beyond his resources, and we have no illusions about getting all of the money,” Mr. Schnitt said.