Anti-spam bill passes US subcommittee

The Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee approved the legislative proposal by a unanimous voice vote. The bill now will move on to the full Energy and Commerce Committee. This is the continuation of a battle that started in 1998. Legislation each year since then has been drafted to try and stop the practice often called "spamming".

Critics charge that spam e-mail clogs networks and is a nuisance for many users. The goal of the legislation is to prohibit the advertisement for pornographic Web sites, get-rich-quick schemes and the numerous other types of spam e-mail that flood into e-mail systems each day, said in a statement US Representative Gene Green, a Democrat from Texas who helped introduce the bill. The information contained in spam e-mail is never requested and thus should not be delivered, he said.

The bill known as The Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2001 gives users the right to remove their names from spam lists. Companies that send spam would be required to provide a valid return e-mail address where users could write to be removed from the spam list, the bill states. Companies that fail to comply would be subject to investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and lawsuits from ISPs (Internet service providers) for $US500 per spam message, up to a maximum liability of $US50,000, according to the proposed legislation.

Consumers should have the power to stop receiving junk e-mail, said US Representative Heather Wilson, a Republican from New Mexico who introduced the bill with Green, in a statement. The bill gives parents and consumers the power to say "enough is enough" and close their e-mail inbox to annoying and obscene junk e-mail, she said.

There is some concern from direct marketing companies about the bill. The Direct Marketing Association in New York supports the basic principles of the bill that spam senders can not lie about who they are and that consumers can opt out of receiving the junk emails, said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs for the association. However, the association disagrees with a clause in the bill that would make the FTC or any other government agency the enforcer of private spam or e-mail policies.

Similar anti-spam legislation introduced by Green and Wilson was approved by the full House in 2000, but failed to get through the Senate, said Kevin McDermott, a spokesman for Wilson.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Evans

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?