[By Sudarshana Banerjee]

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna visited Facebook’s Seattle headquarters Thursday to announce a joint legal strategy against a scheme that takes advantage of those using the social media platform. Facebook and Attorney General McKenna have filed dual lawsuits against the co-owners of Adscend Media an ad network that is alleged to develop and encourage others to spread spam through misleading and deceptive tactics, including “clickjacking.”

Ted Ullyot (General Counsel, Facebook): Security is an arms race, and that’s why Facebook is committed to constantly improving our consumer safeguards while pursuing and supporting civil and criminal consequences for bad actors.

The Attorney General’s lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle against Delaware-based Adscend and co-owners Jeremy Bash of Huntington, West Virginia and Fehzan Ali, of Austin, Texas. It alleges violations of the CAN-SPAM Act (which makes it unlawful to procure or initiate the transmission of misleading commercial electronic communications), Washington state’s Commercial Electronic Mail Act (which prohibits misrepresenting or obscuring any information in identifying the point of origin or the transmission path of a commercial electronic message), and Washington State’s Consumer Protection Act, which prohibits unfair and deceptive business practices.

Facebook’s similar, separate lawsuit against Adscend and its owners was filed in federal court in the Northern District of California.

According to the Adscend Media corporate website, Adscend Media is a privately-held performance-based marketing network that provides its affiliates with a variety of advertising solutions, and reaches millions of consumers each day.