MySpace files suit against alleged spammer

MySpace today announced it has filed a federal lawsuit against a well-known spammer who allegedly used the popular social networking site to send millions of messages promoting websites that hawked items such as ring tones and Polo shirts.

The suit claims Scott Richter and his associates violated the federal CAN-SPAM Act and California state law when they sent millions of spam bulletins from MySpace accounts without user knowledge.

Richter and his affiliates either first launched a phishing attack to steal usernames and passwords to deliver the messages, or they purchased the list from a third party, according to a MySpace news release.

"We’re committed to protecting our community from phishing and spam," said Hemanshu "Hemu" Nigam, MySpace CSO. "If it takes filing a federal suit to stop someone who violates the law and damages our members’ experience, then that’s what we’ll do."

Richter could not be reached for comment today.

In August 2005, Microsoft announced it settled a lawsuit with Richter and his company, OptInRealBig.com - now known as Media Breakaway - a direct marketing firm. The defendants agreed to pay $7 million for violating federal spam regulations.

In July 2004, OptInRealBig.com settled a lawsuit with New York State over allegations the company sent spam containing deceptive subjects and false originator addresses.

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