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  1. #1
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Bubba loves spam & Eggs and his new roomate!

    April 30, 2003
    Virginia Seeks Jail for Spammers
    By Brian Morrissey


    With AOL executives at his side, Virginia Governor Mark Warner signed into law the toughest anti-spam bill in the nation Tuesday, making fraudulent spam a felony in the state.

    Virginia is just one of 26 states that have passed anti-spam laws, but the signing was heralded by the governor and AOL executives as an important step toward treating spam as more than simply a nuisance.

    "A number of states have anti-spamming laws, but for the most part these anti-spamming laws carry civil penalties..." Warner said at the bill signing held at AOL's Dulles, Va., headquarters. "So what we've put in place is the toughest spam law in the country."

    AOL hailed the law as an important breakthrough in its own fight against the deluge of spam sent its 28 million subscribers. The ISP said today that it recently blocked 2.3 billion spams in a single day. The company also recently launched legal broadsides against a handful of spammers.

    Unlike the measures in most states, many of which proscribe civil penalties with small fines, Virginia's law stipulates that a person can be prosecuted for a felony by sending over 10,000 unsolicited, deceptive e-mails per day or 100,000 in a month. The law defines deception as altering an e-mail header or other routing information. Those convicted are liable to a prison term of up to five years and the seizure of assets and profits from the mailings.

    The Virginia law is not directed at all unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail, only the ones with fraudulent claims. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), nearly two thirds of spam contains false claims.

    In most states, the penalties against spammers are relatively small, as evidenced recently in the first successful use of Kansas' anti-spam law in which a consumer was awarded $500 by a small-claims court.

    The differences in the spam laws in various states, and the difficulty for legitimate e-mail marketers to navigate differing requirements, is one of the reasons even staunch defenders of industry self-regulation, including the Direct Marketing Association, have recently begun advocating for federal legislation that would over-ride any state laws -- thereby creating an overarching standard for the United States. With this consensus about the need for a federal statute emerging, the question has turned to what shape a law would take.

    While there is no federal law against spam, the FTC has taken action against spammers for sending deceptive business practices and fraudulent claims.

    Like the Virginia law, the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) targets spammers along these lines. The bill, introduced by Sens. Conrad Burns and Ron Wyden last week, was proposed in two previous sessions of Congress and last year passed a key committee.

    New York Sen. Charles Schumer, on the other hand, has proposed legislation taking a more sweeping approach that targets all spam, including non-fraudulent mailings. His bill, which has not been drawn up yet, would create a national registry along the lines of a "do not call" list, imposing penalties on bulk e-mailers that do not weed out names on the database from their e-mail lists.

    Some anti-spam activists have said the approaches are too meek, since they fail to empower consumers to take matters into their own hands. In a letter sent to the FTC today, a variety of consumer advocacy groups urged lawmakers to take a more aggressive approach, outlawing the sending of unsolicited mail, instead of relying on opt-out provisions, and giving consumers the right to sue spammers.

    The consumer groups, including the Consumers Union and Center for Digital Democracy, argue that a federal anti-spam law should be modeled on the 1991 "junk fax" law that outlawed unsolicited commercial faxes. That law allows consumers to sue violators for $500 per unsolicited fax received. A proposed law in California follows this example.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Nova's Avatar
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    Good info Mike,

    At least it's a start.

    It is sure annoying when I check my email and I'm always running out of space because of this junk mails.

    Even CJ mails goes to my Junkmail folder and I tried to so many time to correct this and take them out of my junk mail and always prompt to include this in my regular inbox and I still get few of CJ mail on my junk folder (which I don't understand why they are keep getting on my junk mail folder when I prompt my setting to not put CJ mail to junk folder).

    The law in the internet will get more restrict in time. which it's slowly happening.

    Love Life to the fullest. we only get ONE chance! :-) !

  3. #3
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Nova I use www.mailwasher.com to filter and pre-view my mail. Often I accidently block or blacklist some of my clients e-mails. I just go over the blocked list and un-check them. Just checked my e-mail for 2 days and had 342 e-mails ...95% of them spamm.

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Jane's Avatar
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    I was using a spam blocker that sent out a faked bounced email. It picked up a clients email and his autoresponder sent me an email in reply to the fake bounce. That again set off my fake bounce and his autoresponder. Had quite a loop going there for awhile!

  5. #5
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Here's the Feds getting into it bigtime.....
    "Lawmaker to Present Anti-Spam Bill This Week
    Mon May 12, 2003 03:07 PM ET
    By Andy Sullivan
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A powerful U.S. lawmaker plans to introduce an anti-spam bill this week that is expected to move quickly through Congress but may fall short of what consumer advocates say is needed to stop the plague of unwanted e-mail.

    E-mail marketers who lie about their identities or use other deceptive tactics could face fines and up to two years in prison under a bill drafted by Louisiana Republican Rep. Billy Tauzin, the powerful chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee.

    But the bill does not try to curb "legitimate" e-mail solicitations at a time when many Internet providers and some government officials say the sheer volume of unwanted spam, rather than its content, is what's causing problems.

    Tauzin's effort, which joins at least three other anti-spam bills in Congress, is likely to advance quickly as it has been developed with the House Judiciary Committee. The two committees have clashed previously over how to curb the unwanted e-mail that now accounts for up to 75 percent of all online messages.

    "When we introduce the bill, when we go to hearings, when we have markups, it'll all be in lock-step with the Judiciary Committee," Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson said.

    A Judiciary spokesman confirmed that the two committees have been drafting the bill together.

    Roughly two-thirds of the unwanted commercial e-mail that clogs users' inboxes contains deceptive information such as false return addresses, misleading subject lines or pitches for miracle cures, work-at-home schemes, or other questionable products, according to a recent analysis by the Federal Trade Commission.

    According to a draft obtained by Reuters, Tauzin's bill seeks to cut down on such deceptive spam by requiring e-mail marketers to disclose their online and physical addresses and honor consumer requests to be taken off their mailing lists. Pornographic e-mails would be labeled as such, and marketers would not be allowed to "harvest" e-mail addresses from sources that say they will not resell customer information.

    Those who violate these guidelines could face fines of up to $1.5 million and jail time of up to 2 years. Internet providers, state attorneys general and federal law-enforcement agencies such as the FTC and the Justice Department could go after suspected spammers, but the bill does not allow individual lawsuits or class-action suits.

    The bill would also override existing anti-spam state laws, some of which allow individuals to sue.

    Tauzin's bill largely echoes the approach favored by online marketers, who fear that an overly broad law could ban e-mail from banks, airlines and other reputable businesses.

    Legal expert David Sorkin said the bill could legitimize much of what people now view as spam, leading to an increase in unwanted, if not deceptive, e-mail.

    "I think it's misguided and counterproductive," said Sorkin, an associate professor at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. "I think it will lead to more spam rather than less."

    Mike & Charlie ...

    If they won't adopt and feed a bird ..flip them one! BBQ some Gator and remember to flush WhenU..

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