|Received:||3/30/2004 9:42:30 AM|
|Organization:||Fabricators & Manufacturers Association|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Regarding the implementation of a National Do Not Email Registry SUBJECT: Why you should not implement a Do Not Email Registry. The American public believes that a Do Not Email Registry will save them from receiving unwanted, undesirable email they consider spam. For the most part they feel invaded, first and foremost by sexually oriented materials that arrive unbidden on their home and office computers. They feel as though current mechanical fixes aren’t enough, because no matter how diligent they or their service providers are about establishing filters, they continue to get smut. They hope that through federal regulation, they can protect themselves, their families and their employees. We believe this is a fallacy, and that the only thing that will come from a federal do not email registry will be a curtailment of legitimate business communication conducted by email. It is the legitimate businesses who in trying to police themselves, are providing recipients with ways to opt-out of unwanted messages and are honoring such requests. In the meantime, the hackers and virus creators become more prolific and damaging and the purveyors of sexually oriented materials just keep on sending their trash. Anyone who believes that a registry will be honored by these spammers is mistaken. Most of them will keep on doing business as usual, with or without a registry. CAN-SPAM enforcement has literally just begun and there isn’t enough history regarding the success of tracking down spammers. A registry would be a nearly impossible enforcement situation. The registry itself could be compromised and used to spam. Knowing the number of theoretically secure systems that have been compromised by spammers in the past, we have no confidence that somehow the registry data couldn’t be obtained by unscrupulous emailers. Once that happens, the registry couldn’t be re-secured. A domain-wide suppression option could potentially kill all legitimate email communications and marketing. In addition, the proposal contains no provisions for preexisting business relationships. An exemption for email desired by recipients is necessary to ensure the continued efficacy of email communications. The whole concept of a Do Not Email registry would give consumers false hope about less spam. It would become a political football (in an election year) with no real solution in sight and potentially millions of dollars wasted by the FTC in resources to deal with complaints rather than enforcing more important aspects of the law. Does any agency of the government really need to waste any money in an already overextended federal budget? We request the federal government allow private industry technology to solve what is a technological problem. This country operates on the principle of free enterprise and the business entities that operate within this industry should be allowed to develop resources that eliminate spam, rather than focus on curtailing legitimate business email transmissions. Proposals have been set forth by members of the Internet Engineering Task Force’s Anti-Spam Research Group. We believe these should be given an opportunity to be developed and tested/implemented. Given sufficient time and resources, technology can solve the problem, and do it as or more effectively than the federal government.