Arguments Begin In Facebook, ConnectU Lawsuit
SAN JOSE, Oct. 10, 2007 (BCN) -- A years-long legal dispute over an alleged hacking attack against social networking giant Facebook by another company whose founders claim the idea for Facebook was stolen from them played out in a San Jose federal courtroom today.
ConnectU hired programmers to hack into Facebook's site in 2004 and steal thousands of email addresses and then try and entice those people into joining ConnectU, according to a lawsuit Facebook filed in 2005.ConnectU has denied the claims and today asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard Seeborg to dismiss the suit. "Facebook makes untrue assertions," ConnectU attorney Scott Mosko said. Facebook's attorney Neel Chatterjee said the hacking was done under the direction and supervision of ConnectU co-founder Cameron Winklevoss. "He was deeply involved. He knew about the details," Chatterjee said. Facebook originally filed the lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court and Judge William Elfving made some earlier rulings in that favored ConnectU. Seeborg seemed reluctant to overrule those rulings. "Why should I second guess that," Seeborg said. "You don't get a do-over." Seeborg said he would take the matter under advisement and issue a decision at an unspecified date. The alleged hacking into Facebook is related to allegations made by ConnectU that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, 23, stole the idea, business plan and early computer code of ConnectU, then called Harvard Connection, from Winklevoss, his brother Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra in 2003. The three allege that they hired fellow Harvard University student Zuckerberg to do some programming for Harvard Connection, which he did not finish before launching Facebook as thefacebook.com in 2004, according to court documents in a Massachusetts federal lawsuit filed by ConnectU against Facebook.
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