US and UK spam legislation in place

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Dec 29, 2003

Anti-spam legislation in place.

While the 'CAN-SPAM Act' is expected to have been signed into US law by 1 January 2004, December 2003 saw the introduction of anti-spam legislation in the UK.

Both sets of legislation have been criticised by members of the anti-spam community for making life easy for spammers - indeed, prolific spammer Alan Ralsky was reported to have said that the passage of the US bill through the House of Representatives 'made [his] day'.

The concerns are that the US legislation fails to make spamming illegal, instead placing the onus on the recipient to opt out. Across the Atlantic, the UK's anti-spam legislation makes some forms of spamming illegal, but a (rather gaping) loophole allows spammers to continue targeting 'business' addresses unabated.

Countries whose legislation has been met with a more positive response include Italy, where spamming is punishable by up to three years in jail, and Australia, where spammers may be fined up to $1.1 million a day. However, the effectiveness of any legislation in reducing the spam problem is likely to be countered while there remains such great disparity in anti-spam legislation across the world.

Posted on 29 December 2003 by Virus Bulletin

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