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'Can Spam' Bill Approved By US Senate

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

24 October 2003


The US Senate on Wednesday voted to approve what has become known as the 'Can Spam' bill, sponsored by Senators Conrad Burns (R-Mont) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore).

Under the terms of the new legislation, which passed by a 97-0 vote, senders of unsolicited commercial e-mail are prohibited from using a false return address, or a misleading subject line. Such e-mails must contain a valid way for those who receive them to 'opt out' of the mailing list, and must also contain the sender's physical address, as well as clear indication that the message contains advertising material.

In addition, spammers are now explicitly prevented by law from harvesting addresses from web sites, and from hacking into computers in order to disguise the actual origin of unsolicited e-mails.

Violations of the bill could result in a three year prison sentence.

Speaking following the vote, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz) explained that:

"The odds of us defeating spam by legislation alone are extremely low, but that does not mean we should stand idly by and do nothing about it."


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