President Signs Anti-Spam Bill

“Spam, or unsolicited e-mails are annoying to consumers and costly to our economy,” White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

“This will help address the problems associated with the rapid growth and abuse of spam by establishing a framework of technological, administrative civil and criminal tools, and by providing consumers with options to reduce the volume of unwanted e-mail,” McClellan said.

The bill supplants anti-spam laws already passed in some states, including California. It also encourages the Federal Trade Commission to create a do-not-spam list of e-mail addresses and includes penalties for spammers of up to five years in prison in rare circumstances.

The White House has posted an interesting discussion about the law on their Website. Visit WhiteHouse.gov to read the transcript.

Here are a few questions and answers from that discussion:

Greg, from Indiana writes:
Thanks for taking my question. Does this bill cover foreign SPAM? If not, what is being done to stop the SPAM that is coming in from other countries to the computers in the United States? Thanks.

Tim Muris
The short answer is yes; the bill covers spam into the U.S. from whatever its source. Of course, there can be difficulties in prosecuting people from outside the U.S. and I’m sure we will discuss more of the enforcement issues this morning.

Michael, from Franklin NC writes:
What specifically does the CAN-SPAM act do to protect minors, that have email accounts, from receiving pornographic junk email?

Tim Muris
The bill prohibits sexually explicit material that is in the body in the message. The bill also requires that any sexually explicit spam have a label identifying it in the subject line so that consumers can filter out these messages.

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