Friday, April 18, 2008

In-Box or Out? New Anti-Spam Law draws supporters & opposition

Over the last few years, the fight to curb the ever-increasing amount of unsolicited spam email has generated a lot of debate and just as much state & federal legislation. Had it not been for the 2003 federal law called CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing), which preempted many state anti-spam laws, California would have had one of the toughest in the country.

As it stands today, while individual states can elect to create large civil damages for spam without criminalizing the transmission of spam, they run the risk of wining cases where the damage awards are largely unenforceable and not effective deterrents to big-time spammers.

On the table in California, is a new bill co-written over the last two years by Dan Balsam (a 3rd-year Law Student at UC Hastings College) and Craig Kleffman (of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office) which attempts to leverage all "loopholes" in the federal law -- which they believe to have made the spam problem worse. (see how)

Opponents to the bill believe legitimate companies would be exposed to unnecessary lawsuits because so many spammers are outside the country. (see the bill in it's entirety)

At yesterday’s Assembly committee hearing in Sacramento, supporters & opponents – including Microsoft, Yahoo, Aol and the AeA – agreed to work out a bill that all sides can support. (see article).

No comments: