Feeds

US anti-spam bill edges towards law

Will it work?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.