Feeds

US anti-spam bill edges towards law

Will it work?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The US anti-spam bill moved closer to approval at the weekend after securing the overwhelming support of the House of Representatives.

Congressional representatives voted 392-5 in favour of the Can-Spam Act 2003. Can-Spam, a modification of measures already approved by Senate, is expected to find little opposition from that quarter and could be signed into law by President Bush by January 1. If it meets that deadline, the bill would come out just in time to pre-empt tough Californian anti-spam laws that allow consumers to sue spammers for up to $1,000 per message.

Unlike earlier federal proposals, the Can-Spam Act 2003 applies to both email and text messages.

The proposed federal law outlaws deceptive subject lines and false headers in spam messages, provides for the creation of a "do not spam" registry of those who do not wish to receive unsolicited junk email and requires online marketeers to act on requests to "opt out" of future emails.

This is much less strict than the 'opt-in' approach adopted by European Union legislation, which means e-marketers need to seek the permission of consumers before they send out commercial emails.

Unfavourable comparisons between the two approaches has led anti-spam group Spamhaus to dub the bill the YOU-CAN-SPAM Act. The bill "legalizes spamming instead of banning it" and is widely supported by recalcitrant spammers, according to Spamhaus.

"From December 11, spamming will be illegal in the UK, but with 90 per cent of the UK's spam problem originating in the United States, British users will continue to be flooded, now with 'legal' spam from the US," Spamhaus argues. ®

Related Stories

US anti-spam laws 'will legalise spam'
UK Govt fouls up anti-spam plans, say experts
Dangerous Mimail variant knocks over anti-spam sites
Microsoft aims to 'shift the tide' in war on spam
The conspiracy against our in-boxes
The economics of spam
US man threatens anthrax attack on spammers

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.