|Received:||3/17/2004 2:36:34 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
A Do-Not-Email registry must allow the registration of an entire domain at once; otherwise such a registry will be largely useless. For example, the magnitude of the task for each employee of a large corporation like General Electric or IBM to opt-out of each of the thousands of spams that we each receive every year would severely impact the productivity of the whole company-especially when multiplied by the large number of employees of such organizations. In fact, the task would be no less onerous for a small business, where the impact on the business would be proportionately as large as for, e.g., IBM. Thus, it is critical that any domain owner be able to exclude the entire domain from spam with a single registration. On a related, but different, topic, it is important that spammers not be able to circumvent the law by using "affiliates" or "agents". For example, I have gotten the same solicitation to purchase drugs several hundred times (since the graphics are unique to this ad and identical across the several hundred times I have received the ad, I'm certain the underlying company benefiting from the spam is the same). Yet each of the messages appears to come from a different "affiliate". It would be impractical for me to opt out of these several hundred identical messages with each affiliate, and doing so would accomplish nothing if the next affiliate could send the same message. Thus, the opt-out must be associated with the underlying company, not with the sender. Finally, it is important that every UCE message contain an identifier in the subject line (like the "ADV" that was common in many state laws prior to the CAN SPAM act) so that those of us who do not want spammers sending us messages which, like junk faxes, utilize our property and resources to deliver their unwanted messages, can exclude all UCE. Such a "tag" in the subject line would allow ISPs and consumers to at least employ filters to get rid of the huge quantity of spam that the CAN SPAM act has now legalized. As an overall comment, the CAN SPAM act is a very bad solution to an important problem. Something more like the TCPA ban on junk faxes would have been much better. As evidence of this, both personal experience and published statistics show that the amount of spam has increased since the CAN SPAM act has been in force. I receive so much spam each day that I would not have enough waking hours to unsubscribe for each one (let alone keep track of whether my unsubscribe requests were honored). As an interesting indication of the problem, I have one e-mail address that I use ONLY to complain about spam; the mailbox for that address is always full-of spam-no matter how often I empty it. Thus, the evidence is clear that unsubscribing merely serves to generate more spam. And the CAN SPAM act has removed all ability for me to do anything about it (unlike my previous state law).