EFF has urged a San Francisco federal court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss Facebook's claims that criminal law is violated when its users opt for an add-on service that helps them aggregate their information from a variety of social networking sites.
Power Ventures was a company that allowed users to login and manage all of their social networking accounts from one place. In 2008 Facebook sued the company, alleging it had violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the California state CFAA equivalent when it allowed users to access Facebook data after it blocked a specific IP address Power was using to connect to Facebook data. Facebook also claims that Power violated the CAN-SPAM Act, the federal law that prohibits sending commercial emails with materially misleading information, when Power encouraged users to invite their friends to try Power through Facebook's Events feature because the header information indicated the messages came from Facebook, not Power.
In February 2012, the district court found Power liable under both claims and in September 2013, Power was ordered to pay more than $3 million in damages to Facebook. The case is now pending before the Ninth Circuit.
EFF has argued that Facebook's interpretations of the law are dangerous to follow-on innovators and consumers and would criminalize widely accepted Internet behavior.
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February 17, 2012
Order Granting Facebook's Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Power Ventures' Motion for Summary Judgment [PDF]
January 17, 2012
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