Facebook has been awarded $873 million in damages against a Canadian man accused of sending spam messages to its members, marking the largest award yet for a suit filed under the CAN-SPAM Act. The suit charged Adam Guerbuez, Atlantis Blue Capital and 25 other unnamed people for falsely obtaining login information for Facebook users and then sending spam to those users' friends.

The amount awarded in this case tops the $234 million judgment won by MySpace in May to be paid by so-called Spam King Sanford Wallace, and the lesser $177,500 fine that two men were ordered to pay in October 2007 for their porn spam operation. Like previous cases, this is probably just a symbolic victory unlikely to yield Facebook much money, but hopefully it will represent a powerful deterrent to anyone seeking to abuse this and other sites for sending spam.