Congressional attack on inboxes

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 29, 2004

US Congressional representatives send bulk email

While congratulating themselves for (supposedly) stemming the flow of spam with the passage of the CAN-SPAM anti-spam legislation, US Congressional representatives have at the same time been purchasing email lists with the intent to carry out bulk mailing of unsolicited mail.

According to PCWorld, more than 30 members of Congress have purchased lists of constituents' email addresses from e-marketing consulting firm Rightclick Strategies. Meanwhile, more than 20 members are customers of @dvocacy whose Connected Constituency program promises to deliver a 'cost-effective way to let you reach tens of thousands of your constituents instantly' using ConstituentMail - which 'makes it easy for your message to spread virally across the Internet'.

Of course, members of Congress may be mindful of the new laws concerning mass emailing, but a loophole for political mail allows members to send messages freely to constituents who have subscribed to their email lists - and to build these lists, the so-called 'franking privilege' allows Congress members to send bulk unsolicited email messages to their constituents.

While these are not commercial emails, the fact remains that for many recipients they will represent nothing more than an addition to the groaning volume of unwanted email in their inboxes.

As far as spam is concerned here, it seems to be a case of what one hand taketh away, the other hand giveth ...

Posted on 29 January 2004 by Virus Bulletin




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