Feeds

SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT: FTC labels porno spam

e-brown paper bag

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

The US Federal Trade Commission is to enforce the labelling of spam containing pornographic content.

From 19 May, spam that contains sexually oriented material must include the warning "SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT:"; in the subject line. The senders face fines for violations of the recently-introduced CAN-SPAM Act.

The "SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT:" label will make it easier for ISPs and users to filter out salacious material. The proposal is the brainchild of the Federal Trade Commission, which was authorised by last December's CAN-SPAM Act to come up with a plan to place tighter controls on emails punting pornographic content.

The FTC describes the label as the electronic equivalent of a "brown paper wrapper". This is what a recipient will see initially when opening a message containing sexually oriented material. The brown paper wrapper will "include the prescribed mark or notice, certain other specified information, and no other information or images". In other words, no pornographic pictures should be contained in the spam.

Advertisers of pornographic content are prohibited from using rude words in the subject line of sexually explicit images. The consultation also prompted the FTC to close a possible loophole in its porno email- labelling plan: the mark must involve characters from the ASCII character set, a move designed to prevent porno spammers from rendering the label in unreadable form.

Although CAN-SPAM has had little effect on the junk mail tsunami it has created a firm legal basis for ISPs to haul prolific spammers into court for misrepresenting the content of their junk mail (e.g. by spoofing the From: line in emails).

Rules for labelling porno email come against a backdrop of the increased prevalence of sexually explicit emails. Mail filtering outfit Brightmail reports that 15 per cent of the email it blocked last month contained adult material, making it the third most prevalent type of spam content behind general product and financial junk mail.

Children receive an average of 10 pornographic emails every week, according to a survey by email filtering outfit KidsGuard out today. ®

Related stories

Congress passes anti-spam bill
Spammers not deterred by Can Spam Act
Big US ISPs set legal attack dogs on big, bad spammers
UK anti-spam law goes live
UK.biz largely indifferent to spam tsunami

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.