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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
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

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?