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US Senate Sends Anti-Spam Bill To House

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

27 November 2003


The US Senate on Tuesday signed off on a recently approved anti-spam bill and sent it to the House of Representatives for several minor technical changes to be approved. Speaking to Reuters, Senate aides revealed that President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law by the end of the year.

Under the terms of the Senate bill, sponsored by Senators Conrad Burns (R-Montana) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), 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 a clear indication that the message contains advertising material.

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

The bill also authorises the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish a 'Do Not Spam' registry, similar to the 'Do Not Call' list recently established for US citizens wishing to prevent telemarketing calls.

This federal legislation, once signed into law, will supersede 35 existing state anti-spam laws.


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