Unanimous vote for CAN-SPAM Act

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Nov 1, 2003

US Senate approves federal anti-spam legislation.

The US Senate has approved the first federal anti-spam legislation. The 'CAN-SPAM Act' was approved by Senate in a unanimous 97-0 vote at the end of last month. The bill requires bulk commercial emailers to include both opt out provisions and valid email headers and subject lines in their solicitations; failure to do so will carry civil and criminal penalties.

The bill provides for a maximum civil penalty of US$1.5 million for wilful violation of the law and up to five years imprisonment for the use of common spamming techniques.

More controversially, the bill calls for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a 'Do-Not-Spam' list, along similar lines to its Do-Not-Call registry which it set up to shield consumers from unwanted telemarketing communications. However, the idea of a 'Do-Not-Spam' registry has not been welcomed by the FTC, since it does not believe such a list can be secured satisfactorily. With the bill having sailed through Senate, the focus now switches to the House of Representatives - encouragingly, a statement issued by the White House indicated that President Bush would sign an anti-spam bill.

Posted on 1 November 2003 by Virus Bulletin

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