The National Anti-Spam Registry, or a Pretender?

    Date26 Dec 2003
    3415
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    So CAN-SPAM is not even up and running and we're already seeing entrepreneurs sleazing off of it. Not an uplifting story; perhaps the more they try to fix the problem the worse it will get. One interesting e-mail that recently found its way into my inbox was from an organization calling itself the "National Anti Spam Registry." The site is filled with American flags and the Statue of Liberty and references to the recently-signed and about to go into effect federal CAN-SPAM act.. . . So CAN-SPAM is not even up and running and we're already seeing entrepreneurs sleazing off of it. Not an uplifting story; perhaps the more they try to fix the problem the worse it will get. One interesting e-mail that recently found its way into my inbox was from an organization calling itself the "National Anti Spam Registry." The site is filled with American flags and the Statue of Liberty and references to the recently-signed and about to go into effect federal CAN-SPAM act.

    As I wrote in my recent analysis of that law, CAN-SPAM calls in Section 9 for a report by the FTC to relevant congressional committees to set forth a plan for "a nationwide marketing Do-Not-E-Mail registry." This report would include an analysis of potential problems with such a list (and boy, would there be a lot of problems); and also specifically deal with children's e-mail accounts.

    The legislation also specifically mentions that the registry is not to be implemented less than 9 months after the enactment of the act. It's scheduled, I believe, for January 1, 2004, meaning that October 1, 2004 is the earliest that we could see its "nationwide marketing Do-Not-E-Mail registry."

    So now the NASR appears. If it's not the registry envisioned by the new law, what is it?

    Despite the flag waving, its authenticity is difficult to determine. The site is filled with misspellings and grammatical errors. Some of what the site claims to do is plainly phony, some of it tempting, but suspicious, and some of it is impenetrable gobbledygook.

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