Feeds

SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT: FTC labels porno spam

e-brown paper bag

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
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
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.