Proposed law: $500 per unwanted spam

Discussion in 'ten-forward' started by Smokey, May 25, 2003.

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  1. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    "Proposed law: $500 per unwanted spam"

    The California State Senate this week approved a bill that would make it illegal to send unsolicited e-mail advertising and allows people to sue so-called spammers for $500 per unwanted message.

    If the bill, which now goes to the California Assembly, becomes law, it would be one of the strictest anti-spam measures in the country. Gov. Gray Davis has taken no position on the measure.

    Federal regulators and lawmakers are trying to find ways to keep computers from being inundated with spam e-mails, which tout everything from sex aids to home loans and are estimated to account for between a third and a half of e-mail traffic.

    Get prior approval
    The measure, which was approved Thursday by a vote of 21-to-12, would require Internet marketers to get advance approval from e-mail recipients if they did not already have a business relationship with them.

    Currently, California law requires spammers to include "ADV" in the subject line of their e-mail so people will know it is an advertisement. The law also requires spammers to stop sending the e-mails after recipients ask them to or face a $1,000 fine.

    The new "opt-in" bill puts the burden on Internet marketers to get approval to spam consumers rather than forcing people to ask to be removed from the spam list after the fact.

    Under the new bill, a judge can triple the $500 fine if it is determined that the spam sender willfully and knowingly violated the California law.

    High cost of spam
    The measure is modeled on a federal law banning junk faxes which allows consumers to sue fax spammers for $500 per fax.

    Democratic State Senator Debra Bowen, of Redondo Beach near Los Angeles, said she introduced the current legislation because previous state law, which she also had sponsored, has done very little to curtail spam.

    "It's been ineffective because it is 'opt-out' and because it relies on the Attorney General and District Attorney for enforcement," she told Reuters.

    "Californians are very privacy conscious," she said. "About half have unlisted phone numbers. That far exceeds the number of unlisted numbers in any other state."

    Last month, a bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate that would require Internet marketers to provide legitimate return addresses on their e-mails and to honor requests to be taken off customer lists. It would not allow consumers to sue spammers directly, but would require state attorneys general to sue on their behalf.

    A January study by Ferris Research estimated that spam costs U.S. corporations as much as $8.9 billion each year. The amount of spam jumped 86 percent between 2001 and 2002, to more than 260 billion e-mails, according to Jupiter Research.

    More than half of the states in the country have anti-spam laws.

    Source: CNN
     
  2. root

    root Registered Member

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    California, land of fruits and nuts, always on the cutting edge of lunacy, has finally introduced a piece of legislation that makes at least a little sense. First time for everything. :D :D
    Lets hope it flies.
     
  3. Smokey

    Smokey Registered Member

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    Yeah, California fight and triumph the spam criminals! :D
     
  4. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

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    More power to them I say.
     
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