The U.S. House of Representatives passed an anti-spam bill today:
- Online marketers who flood e-mail in boxes with pornography and get-rich-quick schemes would face multimillion dollar fines and jail time under the measure. It passed by a vote of 392-5 at dawn on Saturday, following an all-night session of the House that was largely devoted to a separate Medicare bill.
The Senate unanimously passed a similar anti-spam bill last month, but it must assent to the House changes before the measure can become law. The Senate is expected to do so in the coming days.
….Spam now makes up more than half of all e-mail, according to several surveys, and even online marketers have come to support some restrictions.
Lawmakers said spam has become a top constituent concern, and they also faced hundreds of unwanted messages daily.
Spam “cripples computer networks and makes regular e-mail checking a seemingly endless hassle,” said House Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy Tauzin.
….The House bill, which would override state anti-spam laws, would allow businesses to send unsolicited e-mail to Internet users until they are asked to stop, an approach that some anti-spam activists say would only lead to more spam.
It would outlaw spammers’ attempts to cover their tracks by requiring marketers to identify themselves clearly and avoid misleading subject lines or return addresses. Pornographic messages would have to be clearly labeled as such to allow users to more easily filter them out.
….The bill also authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to set up a “Do Not Spam” registry of Internet users who wish to receive no unsolicited e-mail at all, similar to the Federal Trade Commission’s popular “Do Not Call” list. [Reuters]
Will anyone NOT sign up for the registry? I look forward to the day when I will once again read most my email before I delete it.