New sentencing, new legislation

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Apr 1, 2004

United States Sentencing Commission gets busy...

The United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) — the body tasked with refining the sentencing portions of new legislation — met last month to review public comment on how to enforce the CAN-SPAM Act.

The initial suggestion was to use the guidelines for fraud sentencing as a model for CAN-SPAM. However, both the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Electronic Frontier Foundation objected to this idea, protesting that violations of CAN-SPAM ‘do not inflict nearly the same level of harm … or constitute the same seriousness [as] fraud.’ Another proposal is to implement a sliding scale of sentencing based on the number of emails sent, with a maximum of three years for the most prolific spammers. The USSC is expected to vote later this month to send its CAN-SPAM amendments to Congress, with the amendments expected to take effect (unless Congress acts to change them) from 1 November 2004 .

Elsewhere, the government of Singapore is considering introducing legislation to deter spammers operating within the country; Australia’s spam laws come into effect this month, and the German government (which was criticized last year by the European Commission for not implementing spam restrictions in accordance with an EU directive) is also set to introduce anti-spam laws this month.

Posted on 1 April 2004 by Virus Bulletin

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