US pass anti spam law today

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by solarpowered candle, Nov 23, 2003.

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  1. solarpowered candle

    solarpowered candle Registered Member

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    US Passes Anti-Internet Spam Bill
    24/11/2003 07:47 AM - Andy Sullivan

    The US House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly for a bill to outlaw most Internet spam and create a "do not spam" registry for those who do not wish to receive unsolicited junk e-mail.

    Online marketers who flood e-mail in boxes with pornography and get-rich-quick schemes would face multimillion dollar fines and jail time under the measure. It passed by a vote of 392-5 at dawn on Saturday, following an all-night session of the House that was largely devoted to a separate Medicare bill.

    The Senate unanimously passed a similar anti-spam bill last month, but it must assent to the House changes before the measure can become law. The Senate is expected to do so in the coming days.

    Anti-spam bills have died in Congress for six years while unsolicited commercial e-mail has grown from a nuisance to a plague that threatens to derail the Internet's most popular means of communication.

    Spam now makes up more than half of all e-mail, according to several surveys, and even online marketers have come to support some restrictions.

    Lawmakers said spam has become a top constituent concern, and they also faced hundreds of unwanted messages daily.

    Spam "cripples computer networks and makes regular e-mail checking a seemingly endless hassle," said House Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin.

    Lawmakers faced additional pressure to put a national law into place after California passed a tough anti-spam bill earlier this year. Online marketers say it would be difficult to comply with a patchwork of conflicting state laws.

    The House bill, which would override state anti-spam laws, would allow businesses to send unsolicited e-mail to Internet users until they are asked to stop, an approach that some anti-spam activists say would only lead to more spam.

    It would outlaw spammers' attempts to cover their tracks by requiring marketers to identify themselves clearly and avoid misleading subject lines or return addresses. Pornographic messages would have to be clearly labeled as such to allow users to more easily filter them out.

    Violators would face millions of dollars in fines and up to five years in jail. The bill would not allow individuals to sue spammers.

    The bill also authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to set up a "Do Not Spam" registry of Internet users who wish to receive no unsolicited e-mail at all, similar to the Federal Trade Commission's popular "Do Not Call" list.

    It also would outlaw cell-phone spam, which is commonplace in Europe and Asia. Under the provision, subscribers to cell phone services would not receive text message spam unless they have provided express authorization.

    America Online Inc. applauded the bill, saying it would help turn the tide against spam. "This law will be a significant weapon for the online industry in the ongoing fight to can the spam and thwart the spam kingpins," the company said in a statement.
     
  2. *Ari*

    *Ari* Registered Member

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    WOOHOO !!! AT LAST !!! Spammers into jail :) where they really belong to.

    Ari
     
  3. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

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    So this wonderful law doesn't enforce opt-in (the only approach that makes sense), but instead will attempt to enforce opt-out.

    Great, so 15,000,000,000 different companies and individuals can blast me with spam all they want, and it's up to little old me to beg them to stop, on an individual basis. And of course, I shouldn't worry about replying to spam, since we all know how honest these people are--they would never just use the response as verification that the email address is a working one.

    And the "no-spam" list? Great, so I have to decide between putting up with the spam level I have now, and the thought of handing out my email addresses, and trusting that everyone in the world will handle them completely honestly.

    What a perfectly stupid law! No, it is not a "step in the right direction"! This law puts the primary burden of initial responsibility on the spam recipient! This is ludicrous! This law actually legitimizes spam, more than it does anything else.

    Either spamming is right, or it is wrong. If it is right, then... why have a law at all? And if it's wrong, then... why allow it to go on until a recipient asks it to be stopped? Should we change the burglary laws to make it OK to break into someone's house until they request that you stop? Should we establish a "do-not-burglarize" list? Would you feel comfortable broadcasting your home address to the whole world, or would you feel like it would make you more of a target than you were to begin with?

    It's pretty obvious that the filthy U.S. lawmakers tried to walk the line that straddles public outcry for "doing something about spam", and catering to the businesses that line their pockets.
     
  4. *Ari*

    *Ari* Registered Member

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    Nameless,

    I don´t get it what do you exactly mean...What would be your suggestion then? Please remember the fact that the internet is not the same as USA. It´s global, and so is the problem. We also have to remember all SPAM is not caused purpously; I mean there are worms causing it as well. Remember too it is not our little people´s problem only; ISP´s suffer more.
    We have had the law in Finland long time: "sending unsolicited commercial email to private addresses located in Finland is illegal (Finnish law 565/1999, article 21)." (fines and 2 years in prison(max) ) And it helps too; we have no spammers at all.

    ~Ari
     
  5. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

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    No law will make spam go away, but a law that requires opt-in, rather than opt-out, would make a whole lot more sense.

    As Doug Gordon, Press Secretary for representative Dennis Kucinich (D.-OH) said,

    Or, to make my point even more solidly, consider this article, which I only read after making my initial post above. It expresses the exact same kind of relief and "free-for-all" mentality among marketers that I expected. With this crappy new law, marketers--legitimate or otherwise--can feel free to dump their crap on us without prior notice or restraint:

    I mean, consider this:

    Are you going to feel confident, going forward, that all the junk mail you receive will be from someone who is being honest enough that an opt-out request will actually be honored? Or do you realize, like me, that what they'll do is what they've been doing already--they'll remove you from the one list based on your opt-out request, and automatically opt you in on ANOTHER LIST! Mind you, this will be done after they've already sold your meail address(es) to other marketers and spammers, who will do the same thing. And then remember that every marketer and spammer can do this--you'll be "opting-out" 50 times a day.

    Think about that for a moment... Before this stupid new law, email marketers were concerned. Now, they are relieved, and are revving up to send more junk than ever! Like I said, the scumbag politicians wrote this legislation for their pocket-lining buddies in the corporate world, and emphatically not for their constituents, or for the Internet community in general. It sickens, but does not surprise me. It's always like this.
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    The law really is stupid. I report all the spam I get via spamcop. Lately I've been looking at where the offenders are. Better then 90% of the one's i've checked are oversea's. Lots in Argentina, and Eastern Euroupe. So what good is a law providing jail time for spammers. More interesting is almost all the websites in the spam are hosted on ISP's here in the states. Hmm..
     
  7. optigrab

    optigrab Registered Member

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    I agree with Nameless on this. As the dust settles, more press is apparently being devoted to those decrying the flaws in this legislation:

    (Internetnews.com) Lawmakers: Spam Bill Is a Turkey :rolleyes:

    At least this quote is a little encouraging:
    "On the positive side, we can build upon this effort and hopefully add effective enforcement mechanisms in the future, should this federal legislative effort prove ineffective..." Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D.-CA)
     
  8. solarpowered candle

    solarpowered candle Registered Member

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    Spamhaus estimates around 200 individuals, most of whom are US-based, are responsible for around 90 percent of world's spam messages (or at least nine in 10 of those who can be traced, anyway). Several are based in Boca Raton, Florida, which has earned the unenviable reputation at the world's spam capitol.


    A little from the news on England and italys efforts or such
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3120628.stm

       
    Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK

    UK bans spam messages
    Spam said to make up half of all e-mails sent
    The UK has made spam a criminal offence to try to stop the flood of unsolicited messages.

    Under the new law, spammers could be fined £5,000 in a magistrates court or an unlimited penalty from a jury.

    But they would not be sent to jail, according to the new measures introduced by Communications Minister Stephen Timms.

    Spam has become the bane of internet users, with junk messages making up more than half of all e-mails sent.

    Permission to send

    "It's crucial that people feel safe and have confidence in utilising electronic communication technologies," said Mr Timms.

    "These regulations will help combat the global nuisance of unsolicited e-mails and texts by enshrining in law rights that give consumers more say over who can use their personal details. "

    The measures take effect on 11 December and will be enforced by the Information Commissioner.

    Under the new law, companies will have to get permission from an individual before they can send them an e-mail or text message.

    But the regulations do not cover business e-mail addresses, despite some calls for a blanket ban on spam.

    The anti-spam group, Spamhaus, has criticised the law for excluding work addresses.

    "Britain has disappointed the internet community by actually legalizing the spamming of British businesses," said a Spamhaus statement.

    "From 11 December it will be legal to send spam to the millions of hapless employees of British businesses.

    "Britain's firms will continue to suffer the onslaught of ever more spam, now from spammers claiming legality," it said.

    Jail in Italy

    The British measures are not as drastic as Italian anti-spam laws.

    Earlier this month Italy imposed tough regulations to fine spammers up to 90,000 euros (£66,000) and impose a maximum prison term of three years.

    EU legislation banning unwanted e-mail is due to come into force on 31 October, but correspondents say that, given the global nature of the internet, it may have little effect.

    Most spam comes from the United States and Asia, and will be outside its reach.

    The EU legislation leaves it to each member state how to enforce the legislation, as long as the enforcement is "effective".

    The UK legislation also sets guidelines for the use of cookies, electronic tags that help websites keep track of visitors.

    In future, people will be able to insist that sites do not store their personal information.
     
  9. New Raider

    New Raider Registered Member

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    November 25, 2003
    Anti-Spam Bill Clears Senate
    By Roy Mark


    The U.S. Senate formally approved the negotiated House-Senate version of the Can Spam Act Tuesday afternoon, unanimously approving the nation's first national anti-spam legislation. The legislation now returns to the U.S. House, where passage is expected in early December, to reconcile "technical" differences.

    Saturday morning the House approved a modified version of the anti-spam legislation that passed the Senate in October. Because of the changes in the bill, another Senate vote was necessary. President Bush is expected to sign before the end of the year.

    "This bill makes spamming an outlaw business and that this will be treated as priority issue," said Sen. Ron Wyden (D.-OR), one of the co-sponsors, along with Sen. Conrad Burns (R.-MT), of the legislation. "If enforcement action takes place immediately after passage, we send a message to spammers that it is a new day."

    Consumers expecting to see a dramatic drop in unwanted e-mail, however, are likely to be disappointed. Legitimate e-mail marketers and publishers, along with political and charitable organizations, will still be allowed to send unsolicited e-mail to consumers as long as the message contains an opt-out mechanism, a valid subject line indicating it is an advertisement and the legitimate physical address of the mailer.

    More here:
    http://dc.internet.com/news/article.php/3113631
     
  10. New Raider

    New Raider Registered Member

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    Please do not quote in full or in part from any BBC section.
    It goes against their TOS by order of Queen Elizibeth.
    Just provide the link to the article.
     
  11. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Could you direct us to this please? I've gone over the charter and the agreement and can't seem to find it. Searching the bbc site for "quoting" comes up with this article at the end of which is a guideline for journalists who choose to quote o_O

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2002/02_february/01/travellerstales.shtml
     
  12. Prince_Serendip

    Prince_Serendip Registered Member

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    ;) Get the straight and legal goods: Spam Links - Legal

    Lot's of reading there, but worth the effort. :D

    I don't suppose from reading up on this that the spammers will be moving to Canada from the States. LOL
     
  13. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

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    That's funny. If he didn't agree to the ToS, he's not bound by it, queen or no queen.

    You're still not supposed to copy content--but because of copyright issues, not because of a ToS. ;)
     
  14. nameless

    nameless Registered Member

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    I love this. Note the repeated use of the word legitimize in this article I just came across.
     
  15. solarpowered candle

    solarpowered candle Registered Member

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    Virginia authorities have arrested and charged a North Carolina man for sending "spam" e-mail in the first use of a new state law that could bring penalties of up to 20 years in prison.

    Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said Jeremy Jaynes had been arrested in Raleigh, NC, on four counts of using fraudulent means to transmit spam.

    Kilgore told a news conference that officials were in negotiations for the surrender of a second man, Richard Rutowski, on the same charges.

    Jaynes was charged with violating limits on the number of messages a marketer can send and falsifying routing information, both illegal under the Virginia law that carries penalties of 1-5 years in prison on each count.

    Although based in North Carolina, Virginia is asserting jurisdiction over Jaynes because he sent messages through computers located in the state.

    Roughly 50 percent of the world's Internet traffic passes through Virginia, home to big Internet companies like Time Warner's American Online unit and MCI.

    Spam has grown from a minor annoyance to a major threat to the stability of the Internet, experts say, and now makes up more than half of all e-mail traffic, according to several surveys.

    "These criminals are harming businesses in Virginia, and that concerns us," Kilgore told the news conference at AOL headquarters in Dulles, Va.
     
  16. doug6949

    doug6949 Registered Member

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    Click here to opt out? I still get spam from ZoneLabs (I no longer use ZA), some manufacturing "newsletters" and a monthly blurb from my ISP that contains mostly advertising for their cable TV services. I am unaware of any instance in which it has worked. You will note that CanSpam does not address the issue of valid opt-out URL's that fail to process requests due to "problems in the system for which we appologize."

    The Can Spam Act does not address the issue of fraudulent header information and deliberate attempts to defeat email filtering. You will find that most of the spam you get falls into one or both catagories.

    The Can Spam provision for an opt-out buttion does five things:

    1. Opt-Out legitimizes spam by act of Congress.
    2. The Opt-Out button helps spammers identify valid addresses.
    3. It provides spammers with a refined list of victims who do not have adequate email filtering.
    4. Opt-Out further refines spammer lists by identifying individuals with enough naivete' to think it works.
    5. There is now even greater incentive for using an opt-out button as a means of spreading trojans, etc.

    If there is any positive aspect of Can Spam it is that we will have "opt-out" as yet another text string to add to our filters to combat the increase in spam that Congress has initiated with this senseless Act.

    Doug
     
  17. nadirah

    nadirah Registered Member

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    this spyware company : Doubleclick Inc, it has joined in the spam business by jumping from the advertising business to starting to send out SPAM to people who have been tracked/spied on by doubleclick before. since it is also a SPYWARE company, i think it ought to be sued until its company will have to shut down for good. perhaps, the LAW seems to be the only LAST weapon to put an end to all this NUISANCE.
     
  18. Pilli

    Pilli Registered Member

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    It also makes a mockery of the European Union's "opt in" anti-apam directives. o_O
     
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