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SPAM Laws of 2001

By A.T.Rendon
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2004

For a law to take effect on the U.S. federal level, both the House and the Senate must pass the bill and then the President of the United States must sign the bill into law.

Last year we almost got a SPAM law on the books when House legislators approved their version of the SPAM bill, H. R. 3113, the "The Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2000", with a vote of 427-1.

However, it never came close to becoming law because the Senate never even voted on it.

This year, there are already several attempts being made to place SPAM under the law.

The most recognized is known as bill HR 95, which is a re-introduction of H. R. 3113 from last year and is named: "To protect individuals, families, and Internet service providers from unsolicited and unwanted electronic mail." (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.00095:)

A SUMMARY AS OF:
1/3/2001--Introduced.

"Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2001 - Amends the Federal criminal code to provide criminal penalties for intentionally initiating the transmission of any unsolicited commercial electronic mail message (message) to a protected computer in the United States with the knowledge that any domain name or other initiator identifying information contained in or accompanying such message is false or inaccurate.

Prohibits any person from sending such a message unless the message contains a valid e-mail address, conspicuously displayed, to which a recipient may send notice of a desire not to receive further messages.

Makes it unlawful for a person to initiate the transmission of such a message in violation of a policy regarding unsolicited commercial e-mail messages that complies with specified requirements, including requirements for notice and public availability of such policy and for an opportunity for subscribers to opt not receive such messages.

Directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to notify violators under this Act, to prohibit further initiation of such messages, and to require the initiator to delete the names and e-mail addresses of the recipients and providers from all mailing lists.

Provides a right of action by a recipient or provider against e-mail initiators who violate the above requirements. "

As bill HR 95 stands right now, it is not expected to pass vote in the House for two reasons, even though the language of the bill is exactly the same as that passed last year in a vote of 427-1:

First, because of the language that allows for a one-time email to be sent so long as a valid return email address is provided by the sender and the sender removes anyone the so requests to be removed from that mailing list.

Although this is the same exact language that was included in the bill that passed the House last year, many SPAM fanatics are raising objections to its' inclusion in the bill this year.

Second, is the language in the last paragraph that would allow a "right of action by a recipient or provider", the problem being that the law would allow Internet Service Providers, ISP's, to file for monetary damages against spammers to the tune of $500 per email sent or $50,000 per mailing incident.

Opponents argue that ISP's would be filing against anyone that might be accused of SPAM, guilty or not, in hopes of reaping big financial gains.

Considering how SPAM compalints are often handled these days with innocent people having their services terminated or web site shut down without even having allegations of SPAM investigated, perhaps there is reason for such fears of abuse.

A search of both the Senate, (http://www.senate.gov/) and the House, (http://thomas.loc.gov/) found only the following under The keyword "Spam":

Two other bills introduced in the House are:

1. Wireless Telephone Spam Protection Act - H.R.113 : (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c107:1:./temp/~c107WLOF59::)

2. Anti-Spamming Act of 2001 - H.R. 1017: This Act may be cited as the `Anti-Spamming Act of 2001' (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c107:2:./temp/~c107WLOF59::)

Rep. Gene Green, from the 29th District in Texas and is the sponsor of HR 95, so if you wish to make any suggestions or comments on the proposed Spam Law, he can be reached by any of the following:

HON. GENE GREEN
2335 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-1688
Fax: (202) 225-9903

HON. GENE GREEN
256 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. E., Suite 29 Houston, TX 77060
(281) 999-5879
Fax: (281) 999-5716

If you would like to send him an email, you may do so by visiting his official web site at: (http://www.house.gov/green/) and filling out the supplied form.

About the Author
A.T.Rendon is an entrepreneur and published writer. Subscribe to FREE Business Classifieds Newsletter & receive FREE online access to our Password Protected "FREE Submit To Over 1 MILLION FREE Ad Sites!" mailto:subscribe_fbcn9@emailexchange.org Visit us at: (http://emailexchange.org/?articles)