There has been a complaint filed in a San Jose federal court, with a group of people alleging that LinkedIn hacked into their e-mail accounts and took their contact lists so that LinkedIn could send spam-like e-mails.
The suit claims that "Linkedln is able to download these addresses without requesting the password for the external email accounts or obtaining users' consent." The complaint argues that this is hacking, since "the users' email accounts and downloading of all email addresses associated with that users' account is done without clearly notifying the user or obtaining his or her consent."
Once the e-mail account is hacked, endorsement e-mails follow. The document goes on to explain: "These endorsement emails contain the name and likeness of those existing users from whom Linkedln surreptitiously obtained the list of email addresses." We don't know how LinkedIn is hacking into these accounts, but the suit has claimed that LinkedIn "pretends" to be its users in order to download contact lists "if a LinkedIn user leaves an external email account open."