U.S. House Passes Controversial Antispam Bill

    Date25 Nov 2003
    CategoryGovernment
    3604
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Capping six years of federal legislative wrangling, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed antispam legislation intended to create extensive regulations for commercial e-mail.. . . Capping six years of federal legislative wrangling, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed antispam legislation intended to create extensive regulations for commercial e-mail.

    The Senate, which last week passed a similar bill, is expected to agree to the changes in the House bill this week. President Bush has said he will sign the measure into law.

    The bill, called "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act," or CAN-SPAM, will outlaw most junk e-mail and create a "do not spam" registry for opting out of commercial messages. The law, which would overrule state antispam laws, makes violators liable for fines of up to US$250 per e-mail.

    But critics call CAN-SPAM a step backward. "The primary motivating factor here was a desire to pre-empt California's opt-in spam law," said Chris Hoofnagle, Electronic Privacy Information Center deputy counsel. "Consumers would have been served if no [federal] law would have passed."

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