Facebook lawsuit against Adam Guerbuez (from Montreal) is a waste of tax money and an abuse of the legal system

November 25, 2008 · By

A San Jose court has awarded more than $800 million to Facebook in an anti-spam judgement against a guy called Adam Guerbuez from Montreal. This is the nonsense that Facebook’s senior corporate counsel had to say:

“We are very much intent on policing the site and making sure Facebook is not seen as a place for spammers to target,” O’Rourke said.

To which I say: “No, sir, you are NOT intent on policing the site. Rather, you are doing the opposite. You are intent on making the tax-payer police your site. You should be cutting out the spam yourself instead of wasting tax-payer’s money seeking court judgements. Clean up your own site!

Spam should be treated like a technical problem. The operators of Facebook should prevent it and police it internally. Tax-payers who do not avail themselves of the entertainment of Facebook should not subsidize the business of solving Facebook’s problems filtering spam.

Comments

41 Responses to “Facebook lawsuit against Adam Guerbuez (from Montreal) is a waste of tax money and an abuse of the legal system”

  1. Mark on November 25th, 2008 5:05 am [#]

    You sir, do not understand the nature of the offence, or you lack the technical knowledge to adequately form an opinion. You cannot ‘internally prevent’ a user from disclosing their password when they shouldn’t. Most people are not that tech savvy; its a sad but true fact. Part of the problem with spam and all online crimes including fraud is that company’s all too often turn the other cheek and let the crimes go unpunished. Wasting tax payers money? Are you kidding me? They paid for the their own legal bills so the only cost to taxpayers is in catching $800 million criminal, which is exactly what our courts are for. The loss of reputation we’d suffer world wide by letting such scum continue to spam and commit fraud is worth at least that.

  2. Charles Anthony on November 25th, 2008 5:43 am [#]

    No, I am not kidding and no, I do not need to have any technical knowledge to say that tax-payers who are not entertained by Facebook should not subsidize your business. What esoteric and irrelevant knowledge am I lacking in making that judgement, pray tell?

    I do not believe YOUR reputation is worth spending a single cent of tax-payer’s money to catch this “criminal” and please do not deceive the public: the legal cost of entertaining your lawsuit in a public court is borne by the tax-payer.

    Now, let us examine some useful technical knowledge in this debate.

    Who paid the salary of the U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel to sign this court order? Maybe Facebook did. I await confirmation.

    Would a U.S. District court even exist without tax-payer subsidization?
    Answer: No, it would not.
    That is the ONLY technical knowledge that is relevant, thank you very much.

    The loss of reputation we’d suffer world wide by letting such scum continue to spam and commit fraud is worth at least that.

    Bizarre. Who is this “we” of which you speak?

  3. Mike101 on November 25th, 2008 6:46 am [#]

    The most important factor to consider here is the fact that facebook is a business. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the integrity of a business and its assets (in this case information). Whether or not and intrusion can be prevented (as in through a more secure website design) is irrelevant once illegal activity has already occured. If a shopkeeper kept his door unlocked and got robbed, it would still be the governments responsibility to allow the shopkeeper to prosecute. While fear of the consequences may deter some criminals, I agree that it is silly to use this exclusively as prevention (and I’m sure facebook does too and takes some respectable security measures). It is important to remember that sometimes even a very secure shop can be broken into, and even a secure website can be breached. Cases like these make it especially important that the government is involved.

  4. Ian in NS on November 25th, 2008 7:13 am [#]

    Charles, to be blunt – you clearly don’t understand spam. Facebook will never collect the full amount of this judgment – and they admit as much – but what Mr. Guerbuez has allegedly been doing is using Facebook’s servers, Facebook’s resources, to promote his own business/products without paying Facebook for that use. 4 million messages represent a significant amount of resources, even for a company of Facebook’s size, and they have every right to pursue Mr. Guerbuez to compensate them for those resources.

    Plus, given the nature of the messages, it is highly likely that Mr. Guerbuez is engaged in fraud. Facebook has every right – nay, they have a duty – to prevent their resources being abused in such a manner. The courts are a legitimate forum for Facebook to get redress for the abuse that Mr. Guerbuez has done to them; that is no less “subsidizing” them than it is for any other citizen or corporation who has suffered a wrong for which they seek redress.

    Mike’s point about a shopkeeper having the right to file charges and prosecute a shoplifter is spot on. That is essentially what has occurred here.

  5. Charles Anthony on November 25th, 2008 2:19 pm [#]

    I guess I do not subscribe to the same level of government subsidization as you socialists do!

    IanNS,
    To be even more blunt: you clearly do not understand that the technical minutia of Facebook’s business is irrelevant to my judgement. I refuse to accept that a “crime” was even committed. The only reason why you can declare these occurrences as “criminal” is because a state-monopolized tax-payer-subsidized judge says so.

    Mike,
    Thank you for reminding me that the legal system subsidizes Facebook’s business. I would not have known otherwise. I just happened to randomly chose the tag “crony capitalism” for this post for no apparent reason.

  6. darkweb on November 25th, 2008 3:46 pm [#]

    THIS IS IDENTITY THEFT. Facebook has no right to take legal action against a person they can identify (and this is rare!) as committing large scale identity theft against them? what kind of elitist are you?

    By your argument, would any business have to “rent” a judge/courtroom/baliff to seek justice? Do you understand how insane that is and vulnerable to corruption? and you talk about “crony capitalism”

    i for one am glad that the canadian fuck has been publicly humiliated. facebook users should go egg his house.

  7. Charles Anthony on November 25th, 2008 5:10 pm [#]

    Crony capitalists are people whose business thrives on government intervention and privilege in the market. They pretend to be self-sufficient participants of a “free market” when the truth is they are nothing more than selective socialist elites.

    By your argument, would any business have to “rent” a judge/courtroom/baliff to seek justice?

    Yes.
    By your argument, it seems the government should monopolize the delivery of all services in the market! and tax-payers should fund everything!

    Justice is a service and like any other service in the economy, competition in its delivery is a wonderful thing. It offers choice.

    On the other hand, government monopolization of a service is a terrifying thing — it is also socialism. The most basic economic theory (go take a course if you are unaware) will tell you that government monopolization will assure you of a complete rip off in the delivery of a service with preference given to a select group of individuals. In this case, Facebook is the beneficiary of state privilege and the tax-payer who does not play on the internet is being ripped off. Shame on anybody who insists that Facebook deserves such an entitlement.

    Unless you share the mentality of the socialists and you believe the government can deliver services better than the free market, you might find this book a little interesting: Law’s Order: What Economics Has To Do With Law And Why It Matters

  8. Ken on November 25th, 2008 6:40 pm [#]

    I know Charles Anthony and while I do know where he lives and disagree with his argument I’ll have to disappoint the posters by not egging him.

    Charles your argument is more than a little weak in the knees. Because you haven’t spelled everything out I’m making some assumptions so maybe I’m wrong and I invite discourse on this but I don’t think it’s plausible I’ll ever agree with you. Let me admit my bias from the outset — I have a law degree.

    From giving it only a cursory look I don’t have any clear concept of David Friedman’s main arguments but are you putting forward his book as support to advance something like;

    “Hey, let’s all set up competing justice systems that can enforce their orders equally and we’ll let the market figure out who has the best ‘justice’ if you disagree you’re a damn commie”?

    The advantages of competitive legal systems is what, choice and competitive pressures to create better efficiencies killing the bad legal systems? I can file my cases with system X instead of system Y? Well I mean that’s settled by the contract where the contracting parties selected the venue and that’s why this case was filed in California instead of Quebec. BUT BEYOND THAT are you a libertarian or an anarchist? The legal systems we inherited were created and are amended by a set of agreed principles (in theory) through the courts via an accepted formula of Stare decisis within in North America a Constitutional framework (forget about the PQ system for the time being). That means we have a natural government monopoly here that is impossible to avoid without plunging into a period of total anarchy.

    As far as “renting” the courts, bailiffs et. al. Well they did! Court costs are carried by the involved parties. Civil Court costs in California are not what I would call ‘excessive’ so maybe there’s an argument that it isn’t self-sustaining but that was never the point.

    In order to keep the courts from being only the domain for the ultra rich court costs are kept reasonable to promote access to justice since clearly lawyer’s fees are a high hurdle to cross.

    If you want to attack the existence of civil actions and the existing court system then mount it — but how are the ‘taxpayers’ being shafted here in particular by ‘Facebook’ simply by the mere existence of the civil court system and their accessing it?

    If Facebook has obscenely bad spam filtering that’s a tangential issue to this case and if it is the case; then the people receiving spam should form a class and file a class action suit against Facebook in Tort if they can prove a suffered harm.

    Which is going to lead to the inevitable discussion of “where was the harm?” but again that’s tangential. Similarly the ISPs and Power Companies and any one else who want to argue that spam and its distribution puts an unfair workload onto their hardware are also free to try to file actions against Facebook.

    So back to the case:

    This was a civil action approved by a Judge after the filing of motions and at each step in the process this case had to be made out before anyone went to court.

    Mr. Guerbuez and/or his agents first of all violated the terms of the Facebook service contract so there was a course of action in Tort for breach of contract. But in this case it was argued and the Judge held that the U.S federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 had been violated by Guerbuez and his company.

    I don’t know much about the CAN-SPAM act but clearly it creates a right of action for parties claiming to be victims of spammers so what are we arguing Facebook and the case of the entire system?

    There are lots of short comings with the legal systems used in Canada and the U.S but what would the result be if everything were abolished and in their place we give free reign for private interests to start their new systems. Where and how to we define the extent of their authority to act and how exactly if not by force are they to implement these systems?

    Sounds pretty anarchic. I said it’s a natural monopoly but that doesn’t mean it cannot be drastically overhauled but I personally am unaware of any credible economic authors arguing for a complete abolition of the existing legal system so we can see what pops in place to replace it and if it makes me a socialist to think so I’ll just read some more Das Kapital and hang out with the lefties (not that I see anything wrong with that).

  9. Charles Anthony on November 26th, 2008 4:58 am [#]

    Thanks, Ken. You sort-of got it at the end of your post: there is nothing arguably wrong with being a lefty. There is no moral difference between:
    a) a socialist making endless demands from the government
    and
    b) a crony capitalist who feels entitled to government-enforced privileges.
    Neither one of them has an objectively better argument to get ahead of the line at the public trough.

    So, the question that I find interesting is How should competing interests in the market be handled? and my answer is simple: leave it to the free market. A government-enforced monopoly will only rip people off and grant privileges to others.

    My whole point is extremely subtle. I want to draw attention to the fact that we have blind faith in non-existent entities to bring about a service which we call Justice. [Some people have faith in Yhwh, God, Allah, Buddha, etc. Some people have faith in the Almighty State.] I also want to draw attention to the fact that I as a tax-payer fund that service, I have no choice in the delivery of that service and I am not consulted at all.

    “Hey, let’s all set up competing justice systems that can enforce their orders equally and we’ll let the market figure out who has the best ‘justice’ if you disagree you’re a damn commie”?

    Yes, something like that.
    If you want a service, you should pay for it yourself — such a weird idea, I know! Unless you are a baby in the arms of your mother, I do not feel you are entitled to have anybody serve your demands. My opinion is based on both market economic theory and a subjective preference for advancing universal freedom.

    The advantages of competitive legal systems is what, choice and competitive pressures to create better efficiencies killing the bad legal systems? I can file my cases with system X instead of system Y?

    Yes, that is part of it.
    The other advantage is that consumers get to demonstrate the law they want with their pocket book. When there is a monopoly of services, there really is no arguable way of determining what consumers really want and resources can not be allocated effectively. Nobody can demonstrate that The Law reflects what people want when it is monopolized. Right now, Facebook or any other business can petition the government to pass a law that says it is illegal to fart in the elevator — which is exactly what spam is. The other advantage is that the delivery of law is no longer controlled by the elite. I do not even think anti-spam law would exist without the iron fist of government supporting it. Instead, internet operators would have to do more of their own work which is the way it should be.

    Well I mean that’s settled by the contract where the contracting parties selected the venue and that’s why this case was filed in California instead of Quebec.

    Wrong. We have extradition treaties.

    BUT BEYOND THAT are you a libertarian or an anarchist?

    Do you know the difference between the two?

    Mr. Guerbuez and/or his agents first of all violated the terms of the Facebook service contract so there was a course of action in Tort for breach of contract. But in this case it was argued and the Judge held that the U.S federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 had been violated by Guerbuez and his company.

    Hold on a minute. I do not believe that this issue should have been entertained by a public court. This should have been handled by Facebook internally. The technological minutia of Facebook’s operating problems are irrelevant. Just because the faced a threat from a spammer does not entitle Facebook to anything, in my opinion.

    Either the security threat posed by this spammer is impossible to stop internally by Facebook or not. If Facebook can not stop its own damn spam, I see no compelling reason why the public should be involved. Mike up above offered an analogy with a shopkeeper — sorry! that analogy is nonsense. The best analogy is a shopkeeper who leaves his door open and complains that he has trouble maintaining air conditioning — that is precisely what Facebook is doing. This spam concerns NOBODY outside of Facebook.

    Breaching the Terms And Conditions of a website happens all of the time. I am calling this a frivolous law suit. Forgive me for making this personal but you (and every other person who has a law degree thriving on the business of handling law suits) may think otherwise. What is the best mechanism to handle our competing interests? I think a re-fresher course in economics might be a good start for some people.

  10. John ONeill on November 26th, 2008 6:00 am [#]

    The author of this post is missing a very important point. The notion that hearing this case is an example of the U.S. taxpayer subsidising big business is fundamentally flawed. If you want to argue ths from a financial viewpoint, know this. SPAM cost us all money. Not just facebook, not just facebook users, not just the government but everybody. Even if we are to somehow forget the hidiousness of the invasiveness of this crime from a rivacy viewpoint (and that would be an injustice) it is clear to anyone with the fiscal awareness of a four year old that preventing this type of crime is in the everyones interest bar the spammer. Rethink this. If you still don’t see it, lie down for a while and get some rest. Then rethink it again.

    John
    http://www.backupanytime.com/whitepaper.htm

  11. Charles Anthony on November 26th, 2008 7:48 am [#]

    Mr. ONeill,
    Please enlighten us: how in the world did mankind ever survive before the internet?????????

    Spam costs everybody money?? Everybody???
    I can not think of any opinion that is more perversely selfish and simultaneously absurd than that. You should be ashamed.

  12. Ken on November 26th, 2008 10:26 am [#]

    Charles,

    I’m going to parcel this into chunks

    You “S[A] question that I find interesting is How should competing interests in the market be handled? . . . simple: leave it to the free market. A government-enforced monopoly will only rip people off and grant privileges to others.”

    Libertarianism vs. Anarchism

    No, I do not have David Riccardo, Hume, Hobbes or Bakunin or whomever else’s images posted on my walls but my understanding I think is sufficient to have asked the question which philosophical thread you’re trying to stitch this argument in.

    Libertarians: have a collective set of agreed upon rights but are willing to permit a government in order to entrench those rights. Government’s purpose being to uphold and protect these rights then has its powers always limited and must not infringe on another’s equal set of rights. People can have and hold property and should be free to dispose of it as they see fit so long as this isn’t usurping another’s rights and like I said Government shouldn’t do anything other than protect these rights. That would mean we’re babies in the arms of a natural legal monopoly which is subject only to internal adjustments via the previously discussed Constitutional amendments to the governing law no? If yes then that has dispensed with the fart in the elevator discussion as well.

    Anarchists: (and I preface this with an apology to any who are lurking here because I know I’m not giving a complete portrait in the least and that there is no ‘universal’ anarchist philosophy) Largely anti-statist concerned primarily in the rights of individuals to pursue their own personal goals free from the constraints of State imposed law some are for property holding some are staunchly opposed but all of them believe order is going to just “pop” into existence once we finally throw off all those damn shackles i.e., the rule of ‘law’ and State authority. Like the missile defence shield held up by magic pixies once freed of these artificial restraints we’re all just somehow going to revert to a garden of Eden like respect for other’s and have only a will to do good “tra la la tra la la”.

    Fair descriptions? That leads me back to asking which are you because as I understand it the existence of Government authority is in particular essential to be present when protecting the individual rights of others. The current economic system permits Corporations to assert many of these individual rights so I don’t see the disconnect you claim is present.

    You: “I want to draw attention to the fact that we have blind faith in non-existent entities to bring about a service which we call Justice. [Some people have faith in Yhwh, God, Allah, Buddha, etc. Some people have faith in the Almighty State.] I also want to draw attention to the fact that I as a tax-payer fund that service, I have no choice in the delivery of that service and I am not consulted at all.”

    Non-existent entities the blind hand making market adjustments gotta believe in something I guess. As a tax payer you contribute to the system here in Canada as do those in the US shore up their systems you’re right but to argue you have no ability to exercise choice is a straw man argument because you are free of constraints to entering the political world and lobbying or running for public office. Are you at a disadvantage against large corporate interests? Yeah undoubtedly but I think there is only a tenuous connection between these two in the way you laid things out. If we’re arguing a specific case we have to look at it in terms of the entire system in which it operates. It sounds like you have larger issues that you wish to address and I don’t think you have done enough to make those in what I see here and in your reply.

    With respect to your statement on Extradition Treaties.

    An expulsion order under an Extradition treaty, why? We have two contracting parties who entered into an agreement that specified there where/how that disputes are to be settled. Using your argument it seems like I could enter into an agreement with someone saying I agree to be bound by the rules of one system and then when it’s no longer convenient I just cross my arms and insist it be done under my own system here in Canada. This topic has been addressed in recent law in a ruling on EULA’s here in Ontario actually.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.....osoft_Corp.

    (in response to my referencing the Judge making a holding under a US law) You: “Hold on a minute. I do not believe that this issue should have been entertained by a public court. This should have been handled by Facebook internally. The technological minutia of Facebook’s operating problems are irrelevant. Just because the[y] faced a threat from a spammer does not entitle Facebook to anything, in my opinion.”

    If Government is to exist in order to protect individual rights to protect property how can you say that this issue should not be entertained in a public court? In many instances individuals or corporations are allowed to “contract out” of the public courts as is often done in Construction or family law issues where people agree to go to various forms of dispute resolution but that was not the case here. We had two parties enter into a contract and one of those parties violated it. This gave Facebook the option to pursue Mr. Guerbuez under contract law and as well in this case via a Federal statute that created certain rights for them. It seems you primarily feel that we are subsidizing all this under the heading of ‘justice’ but that’s the accepted system and that system seems to conform largely the same economic order you’re talking about.

    As far as Facebook doing a bad job re: spam, there are corresponding actions that could be taken by users and others affected by this like I said previously but there is something I think you’re missing out on here. Using the elevator again and saying that’s the Internet, the elevator is public space and the users of this elevator have rights one of those is related to CAN-SPAM and Facebook sued under this. If you think that crony capitalists have taken over the elevator then we can discuss this but what went on here is just another example of the existing system being used and I think if the system is your main concern in order to better address that a different posting needs to happen.

    With respect to frivolous lawsuits, I mean I just don’t see that. This suit progressed because clearly there is a prospect of recovering monies from Mr. Guerbuez while it seems the $800 million dollars is not in the realm of reality that does not mean they will not receive a substantial amount if they were just going to piss their own money away I cannot see them having pursued the enforcement of their rights so strongly.

  13. C on November 26th, 2008 10:56 am [#]

    Charles — you seem to think that a libertarian world would be one free from government. If this is correct:

    Do you believe that governments have always existed?

    If they have not always existed, must they not by definition have sprung from a libertarian world?

  14. Charles Anthony on November 27th, 2008 5:10 am [#]

    Ken,
    You assume so many premises that I categorically reject. Everything you just posted strikes me as no more profound than saying: “The law says you can not do such-and-such. Therefore, doing such-and-such is bad. To boot, tax-payers are obligated to enforce the prevention and punishment of such-and-suchers. If you do not like it, tough luck. That is the way things are.” That is how I am reading you. Yet, you understand quite clearly that I am questioning the legitimacy of the monopolization of the legal system. Have you ever questioned that yourself before?

    If you want to understand more of David Friedman’s economics of law, he offers a succint model here: POLICE, COURTS, AND LAWS—ON THE MARKET but I can not convince you or any state-apologist that a free market represents morally correct social behavior because morality is always and everywhere subjective. All I can do is point out when I believe that the delivery of the current state-monopolized services produces absurd results and rips people off. I am glad I asked you to offer your definitions of “anarchist” and “libertarian” before answering your question because I find your definitions lacking. Telling you how I choose to label myself would not be very fruitful. The answer is really irrelevant anyway to evaluating the frivolity of Facebook’s lawsuit.

    It seems you primarily feel that we are subsidizing all this under the heading of ‘justice’ but that’s the accepted system and that system seems to conform largely the same economic order you’re talking about.

    Accepted by whom? I do not accept it and I reject any morally authoritative foundation to that system.
    Furthermore, I do not just “feel” that the legal system is subsidized. It is subsidized.

    If Government is to exist in order to protect individual rights to protect property how can you say that this issue should not be entertained in a public court?

    Easy: I reject any moral authority of government bureaucrats to settle scores between individuals. I also reject the premise of your question. In other words, I am not convinced that The Almighty Government “is to exist in order to protect individual rights to protect property” as you say and I certainly do not see any evidence that it does so in any universally principled manner.

    With respect to the frivolity of Facebook’s lawsuit, I am adamant that it does not belong in the courts. I mean, I spilled my beer last night, bumped into a bunch of other patrons, missed every target in the washroom and caused a ruckus at the bar. You know what the bar owner did? He threw me out. Amazing how simple that solution is, right? but I guess he could have tried to sue me for $800 million dollars because:
    a) he is operating a business
    b) I threatened the wonderful reputation of his business establishment
    c) the business owner wants the tax-payer subsidized court to discourage future disruptions of his bar instead of developing an honest reputation of handling security issues internally and swiftly himself
    d) my disruption at the bar costs EVERYBODY in the whole wide world millions of dollars
    e) the financial damage is completely arbitrary so, hey! why not ask for an absurdly high amount of money?
    Hell, there may even be a law against spilling your beer!

  15. Ken on November 27th, 2008 6:18 am [#]

    I don’t think those situations are analogous and of course I have questioned the current system and its appropriateness however those are the current rules and there is a method to amend it.

    If you find my definitions lacking that’s fine but you have offered no alternative.

    I find Friedman’s proposed legal system something like asking Blackwater to switch over from military contracting to judicial enforcing of orders issued by Judge Judy and not at all acceptable. Given that this guy’s theories are known as “anarcho-capitalism” I’m given to feel that nothing I have to say about Libertarianism you will find sufficient if you’re taking him as your sole guide.

  16. International Crisis: latest Facebook attack must be averted at all cost! | ThePolitic.com on December 6th, 2008 7:55 am [#]

    […] /end sarcasm> […]

  17. BigPimpin on December 13th, 2008 9:01 am [#]

    Get real. Facebook is still just a public website on the internet. Some people may be a little disillusioned and think it’s actually of significance to anybody’s daily life but the obsessed owners/investors.

    Facebook is clearly negligent and it is up to them to secure it’s own website.

    Manipulating the legal system to their advantage is bad.

    Maybe Mark should actually think what he’s doing a little more if he can think outside of ‘Facebook”. LOL

  18. Fireholder on December 26th, 2008 9:00 pm [#]

    Charles, your argument is moot. The defendant entered into a contract. He accepted the rules of the playground. He then broke those rules in a very offensive manner. He spammed millions of accounts with adult-oriented content. Since you’re not a facebook user, I’ll inform you that facebook is a social site provided for free by Facebook, Inc. to anyone with a valid email address who is 13 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER. Whether or not you have any kids, how do you feel about this guy spamming them with pornography and penis enlargement advertisements? He broke the law, and was sought after for it.

    You say you’re a tax-payer and you have no say in how they’re spent? Yes you do. You vote under the current system. You pay your taxes. By doing these things, you are expressly accepting their use. If you don’t like the system, change it or leave it.

    To your disbelieve that spam affects everyone I inform you of the following. Spam is useless/unsolicited information. It requires resources to reach its destination. For a broader look at the actual cost of spam, take a look here “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(electronic)#Costs_of_spam” or just Google “cost of spam”…

    Using the Internet costs money. Spam takes up a nice portion of all Internet bandwidth that could be put to better use. The defendant in this case is a piece of scum and deserves everything he got. If the case was held here in Canada, I would not have cried at all at the cost of the lawsuit. I also believe he should be prosecuted as a criminal for spamming pornography to countless children. Just because you have a differing opinion than our laws doesn’t mean you are right.
    Laws exist because humans as a whole are bad, bad people. We are greedy and self-centered. Without law the entire world would descend into a dangerous cess pool of chaos. Yes, change needs to happen, but whining about one particular case on some random internet site won’t do a lick of good.

    You, sir, are better suited to hermit life. Obviously society and how society works, or tries to work, doesn’t agree with you. I suggest the mountains of B.C., Canada. Gorgeous country and plenty of uninhabited (by humans) space. And hey, there’s no internet either, so you won’t have to put up with the Evil Facebook Tax-dollar Pirates!

    Have fun hating the world… :o

    P.S. – The government owns all of your “tax dollars”. Without the government, you’d have no money. Think about that for a bit.

  19. Charles Anthony on December 27th, 2008 11:38 am [#]

    Mr. Fireholder,
    I feel no obligation to subsidize your playground.

    If you don’t like the system, change it or leave it.

    Thanks for the orders but that is exactly what I am trying to do: encourage more and more people to reject government subsidization of playgrounds.

    If more and more people think like me, you can bet your bottom dollar that the system will change and put parasitic industries out in the cold where they belong.

    P.S. – The government owns all of your “tax dollars”. Without the government, you’d have no money. Think about that for a bit.

    P.S. — I wish I read your punch-line first. Then I would have known you were a free-loading joker.

  20. Fireholder on December 28th, 2008 12:37 am [#]

    First, it’s spelled “cur”. Get an education. Second, I work for a living. Third, the government manufactures those little coins and sheets of fibre you spend. They regulate it, they’re the only ones authorized to destroy it.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, you’re better off by yourself. Go find a cave to crawl into. You’ll be happier, and the rest of the world will be happier without your whining.

  21. Fireholder on December 28th, 2008 12:53 am [#]

    Get it into your skull, moron. He accepted the rules by joining the site. Nobody gives a damn whether or not you like it. You don’t matter. This will be the last post to this site. Have fun reading your own response ad infinitum. I recommend everyone else stop enabling this guy’s need for pointless arguments over the internet. Let him find something else to live for… Ciao

  22. Fireholder on December 28th, 2008 12:58 am [#]

    I lied. I have another point to make.
    Facebook, Inc. pays more taxes in a year than you will during your entire lifetime of working (if in fact you actually do anything…)
    They pay taxes, and therefore have a right to access government agencies and functions. Ciao for real now.

  23. Charles Anthony on December 28th, 2008 10:27 am [#]

    Facebook and the taxes they “pay” can disappear overnight but the world will still turn around.

    Mr. Fireholder,
    You omit the most important thing: The government forces everybody to pay taxes in the same money it prints. The government does not let you pay taxes in any other way. Pretty good gig, I would say. By forcing everybody to use the same money that it prints, the government is able to pick winners and losers. Facebook is the beneficiary of government control in the market.

    Facebook should clean up their own house and take care of their own technical business problems instead of forcing the legal system to baby-sit their clients.

  24. RdR on January 2nd, 2009 12:26 pm [#]

    Charles,

    Suppose, if something gets stolen from your house and you know who did it….what would you do? Ask the police to catch and lock em up (thereby utilizing taxpayers money) OR would you just make your house more secure and leave it to that?

  25. JJ on January 3rd, 2009 5:10 pm [#]

    I am no way able to compete with the debate as far as the legal implications of the Government system go, however i will say this, I cant say this for a fact, but i do have a background in webusability and internet engineering, so it would make perfect sense, Facebook did not want to go down the same path as Myspace- a website that makes it difficult for spammers to use, but also inconvenient for its legitimate users. Yes, there are protective back-end measures that they could take(and maybe they do now), such as gateway keyword filtering, and timebased message limiting (you can only send so many messages in an hour)(i know for a fact they use this one), but when working right (meaning very few false positives), they aren’t as effective.

    To avoid having to make things inconvenient for their users and therefore in an effort to stay ahead of the competition, they decided to make an example out of someone who grossly misused their system. That person was Adam Guerburez. Not saying that what they did was ethical or moral by any means, but in a free market society, its the most effective.

    Just be grateful that we dont have the same systems in place that we used to, where the person who was being made an example of was put to death. (well i suppose some Governments might still do that. I don’t know.) (…..ALTHOUGH, i would probably rather be dead than to have to pay up $863 million clams to facebook).

  26. Can CAN-SPAM can spam? on January 20th, 2009 6:12 pm [#]

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  27. lulz on February 22nd, 2009 8:23 pm [#]

    It seems you’re throwing the blame on facebook, which sadly I disagree with :( Before I start, I have a question. Do you think tax-payers should pay to police your neighbourhood? Hopefully the answer is yes because you realize that it would be impractical for the market to provide a public good like a police force. What’s the difference between tax-payers paying to police a website? It’s the role of the government to protect private property. A website is private property. Do you disagree with anything thus far?

    For someone with an extensive knowledge of economics you seem to be forgetting what drives the market system. Self-interest. As far as I’m concerned, facebook is doing nothing wrong. They are acting rationally in their own self-interest fully within the confines of the law. Someone was spamming their site, they thought it was unfair, arguably with good reason, so they brought it to the courts. If facebook didn’t take advantage of the court system they would suffer losses. Now don’t get me wrong, people are able to do some pretty questionable things within the confines of the law, but litigating against a spammer is something I think most people sympathize with (I could be wrong on that though!).

    Hopefully you realize that at best, what you’re saying is an opinion. You don’t like the idea that your tax money is being spent so that facebook can file a lawsuit you consider to be needless. Hopefully you also realize not everyone considers this to be a needless lawsuit, which would obviously imply they do not consider it to be a waste of their tax dollars. Again, whether or not it is a waste of tax dollars is entirely down to opinion.

    Why then, should facebook have to suffer losses to appease you & people like you, if you potentially fail to constitute a majority and when other people are free to take advantage of the court system? It’s irrational to expect only certain people to adhere to some vague guidelines defined by your sense of morals and it’s irrational for the opinion of a potential minority (whether your opinion constitutes the majority or minority is unknown) to be imposed on everyone, which is what you seem to be doing. We need clear guidelines to be defined with everyones interest in mind, with no grey areas. Unfortunately when we make clear guidelines like this, there is inevitably potential for abuse. If the negative effects of the abuse are less than the negative effects a lack of clear guidelines caused, the system is in the best interest of society, no?

    So just to summarize. Whether or not what facebook did is morally wrong is an opinion. Facebook is acting in their own rational self-interest fully within the confines of the law. If you find their behavior to be unacceptable in these circumstances, your issue is with the law, not facebook.

    Hope you enjoyed my argument.

  28. Charles Anthony on February 24th, 2009 6:21 am [#]

    Before I start, I have a question. Do you think tax-payers should pay to police your neighbourhood?

    No. I do not believe I should get away with forcing tax-payers to subsidize the delivery of security services in my neighborhood. I should pay for it myself.

  29. C on February 24th, 2009 10:15 am [#]

    What about the neighborhoods you pass through?

  30. Charles Anthony on February 25th, 2009 4:43 pm [#]

    What about them, Mr. C?

    If statesmen stop stealing my money and calling it “taxation” to get people like you on board with their theft, I would be happy to pay the entrance fees to all of those neighborhoods. Deal?

  31. C on February 26th, 2009 1:04 pm [#]

    “What about them, Mr. C?”

    Do you think the residents of the neighborhoods you pass through should pay to subsidise the delivery of security services to you during the time you spend in those same neighborhoods?

    “If statesmen stop stealing my money…”

    If you believe that people are stealing from you, you might consider reporting them to the police. If you think statesmen are stealing from you, you might try also reporting it to the media. I would reccomend this as your best course of action.

    “and calling it “taxation” to get people like you on board with their theft…”

    Do you believe that statesmen, in league with me, are stealing from you by falsifying your tax demands? Are you accusing me of criminal conspiracy in a case of fraud?

    “…I would be happy to pay the entrance fees to all of those neighborhoods. Deal?”

    I think it is important that we clear up exactly what the premises of this contract are before I agree to anything.

  32. Charles Anthony on March 2nd, 2009 4:43 pm [#]

    Yes, Mr. C, taxation is theft and anybody who tries to rationalize it otherwise is a kleptomaniac. In our current state of affairs, the entire legal system along with its goons are in cahoots with this injustice.

    Do you think the residents of the neighborhoods you pass through should pay to subsidise the delivery of security services to you during the time you spend in those same neighborhoods?

    It is not like they have a choice.

  33. C on March 2nd, 2009 6:59 pm [#]

    “Yes, Mr. C, taxation is theft and anybody who tries to rationalize it otherwise is a kleptomaniac.”

    This logically presents us with four possiblities:

    1) Charles Anthony is incorrect.
    2) Charles Anthony has never tried to rationalise tax as anything other than theft.
    3) Charles Anthony is a kleptomaniac.
    4) A combination of the above. Example: Charles Anthony is incorrect, has never tried to rationalise tax as anything other than theft, and is a kleptomaniac.

  34. Roger Deeds on April 8th, 2009 12:14 pm [#]

    Not a regular, just happened to stumble here by accident. Managed to read the whole thing.

    To be honest, have no law qualifications, have no economic credentials.

    But I really need to ask you Charles Anthony – are you arguing this because you think you’re right, or just because you don’t want to be wrong?

    Because you really have had your argument completely destroyed. I mean, your argument wasn’t exactly solid to begin with, but it seems you’re so stubborn to concede defeat, your position is now so extreme, it verges on ridicule.

    You believe all taxation is theft. You believe that policing should be privatized. In fact, given taxation is theft, basically everything should be privatized – there should be no public good – because as you say – any public good is a monopoly.

    Come on? You can’t seriously? Okay… you might believe this from some sort of ideological point of view, but surely you must understand that not everything can be privatized…

    I mean, there HAS to be some public services. Like a police force? Is everyone supposed to have their own police force? And seeing as there’s no laws, the person with the bigger police force enforces justice?

    And then what about national security? How do you have a defence force that is private, that is “user pays”?

    What about infrastructure? Is everyone just supposed to have their own roads? Their own traffic lights? Their own street lights?

    It’s easy to criticize, but if you can offer an alternative world view, that solves all these problems, then I will be more inclined to not think you’re an idiot.

  35. Charles Anthony on April 8th, 2009 12:20 pm [#]

    Roger,
    Yes, I am serious and I argue this position because I believe I am right. If you have trouble understanding free market economics and you do not want to do your own research, I suggest that you stick to reading my opening post and forget the rest.

  36. National Parole Board office move provokes frivolous lawsuit in Ottawa | ThePolitic.com on April 9th, 2009 11:00 am [#]

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  38. Jaret on October 5th, 2010 9:23 pm [#]

    Just a quick question for everybody, is spam a crime? Is it related to trespassing? Is it infringing on an intelectual right of some kind? I have no sympathy towards facebook or anyone else but if they can prove in a court that a crime was committed and it can be upheld through appeals, then I believe they are entitled to their ruling. Also, on the “taxpayer funded court system”, yes we who do not participate in this particular case are responsible for picking up the tab for the court costs. That is the price of having an independant court of law which serves all of the public in resolving differences between citizens. It works for you when you need it as well. It’s a shoddy argument to say otherwise, and for those few cases that do truly waste the courts time, the perpetrater often is saddled with the court costs as part of the ruling.

  39. Jaret on October 5th, 2010 9:37 pm [#]

    I read a little bit more and I don’t believe that Charles really has an understanding of free market economics or history to back up the claims. The theories that you speak of such as private security forces, roads, etc., has already been tried for hundreds of years throughout history and even a brief review of medieval europe, among others, could demonstrate the flaws in system of governing you propose. Some things must be available to all, therefore, must be paid for by all. It is the only way to even approach a fair situation for rich and poor. I also feel that you’ve gone beyond what you actually believe and are now too stubborn to stop. I wish you all the best and keep free speech alive.

    Cheers

  40. QQ MOAR on October 23rd, 2010 1:10 pm [#]

    gratz “C” and your bots, for forcing charles in a communication deadlock, by asking questions, and taking advantage of charles emotional state, to drive him into an illogical argument to prove him wrong. And using this to prove that his first argument is incorrect.

    Wow, it takes too much skill manipulating people !!! Gratz keep up the good work. Maybe one day you will be a politician or facebook’s spam executioner.

  41. Charles Anthony on October 23rd, 2010 2:58 pm [#]

    Some things must be available to all,

    I disagree. Sorry if you can not get past that difference in opinion.

    The theories that you speak of such as private security forces, roads, etc., has already been tried

    Tried?? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Tried… how? In a scientifically controlled study? Stop offering nonsense as proof. Regardless, even if your erroneous beliefs were true, that would not prove anything about what is the morally correct way for people to do business today. Sorry if your moral standards differ from mine.