Agreement on Historic Anti-SPAM
November 21, 2003
Friday - 1:00 am
Following months of intensive negotiations, House Energy and
Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) today announced
an agreement on historic legislation that will allow millions
of Americans the ability to block unwanted and unsolicited commercial
"For the first time during
the Internet-era, American consumers will have the ability to
say no to SPAM. What's more, parents will be able to breath easier
knowing that they have the ability to prevent pornographic SPAM
from reaching defenseless, unsuspecting children," said
Chairman Tauzin. "Although the Internet has given us abilities
beyond our wildest dreams, it has also produced endless headaches
with all of the crippling congestion SPAM causes to computers
every day throughout this country. Today's agreement could end
all of that nonsense and bring peace of mind back to everyone
who sends and receives e-mail."
Specifically, the anti-SPAM
- Empowers American consumers
with the right to opt-out of all unwanted and unsolicited commercial
e-mail or SPAM.
- Provides the FTC with the
authority to set up a "Do-Not-SPAM" registry similar
to the "Do-Not-Call" registry for unwanted and unsolicited
telemarketing telephone calls.
- Grants the strongest available
protection for parents and consumers to say "no" to
the receipt of pornographic SPAM.
- Makes it a crime, subject
to five years in prison, to send fraudulent SPAM - the legislation
would make it a crime for e-mail marketers to mask identities
by falsifying their return addresses.
- Allows the FTC and state attorneys
general the ability to vigorously enforce the laws contained
in the anti-SPAM legislation.
- Stiffens an anti-span bill
approved by the U.S. Senate in October. The compromised version
would double the largest fines against spammers from statutory
damages of $1 million to $2 million, tripled to $6 million for
intentional violations, and unlimited damages for fraud and abuse.
Also removed is a loophole that would have allowed marketers
to dodge key provisions of the bill where they claim to have
existing relationships with consumers.
Assisting Chairman Tauzin in
reaching a sweeping anti-SPAM agreement were House Judiciary
Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Energy and Commerce
Committee ranking member John Dingell (D-MI), Senator John McCain
(R-AZ), Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), Senator Ernest Hollings
(D-SC), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Rep. Richard Burr (R-NC) and
Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM).
The anti-SPAM agreement could
be considered by the House as early as today.
Source of News:
The House Committee on Energy
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