|Received:||3/30/2004 6:54:52 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
I have received substantially MORE Spam since the passage of the Act. I am opposed to a National Do Not Email Registry as that would give the Spammers a huge list to exploit, in flagrant violation of the law. These violators will simply take such a list as a free, or low-cost, electronic mailing list. The Do Not Call list has worked. It is one of the most effective and overwhelmingly popular Government regulations in years. There is a fundamental difference, however, between a telephone call and email: -- One person can send literally millions of emails in a day, while a person can make only a few hundred telephone calls in a day. -- Emails can be sent anonymously or, worse, with a falsified From address, while phone calls can be identified (or easily filtered out if the caller refuses to disclose identity). -- Emails can be loaded with viruses, Trojan horses, and other malware to cause substantial long-term damage, while a telephone call is a momentary nuisance. Legitimate commercial messages sometimes cannot be readily distinguished from such. -- The Do Not Call List WORKS. Congratulations on a job well done. The CAN-SPAM Act has been an abysmal failure to date. On the subject of malware, the recent huge increase in spybots, adbots, and similar programs is perhaps a greater problem than Spam. These programs are extremely pervasive. Like viruses, they continually evolve to evade detection, and require the use of security software and frequently-updated signature files for protection. For ANY regulation to work, it needs enforcement. As a computer user, I have neither the expertise, the technical resources, nor the time to track down people and organizations that attack me with Spam, malware, viruses, etc. Furthermore, the user who sends it to me is often NOT the culprit, but an unwitting victim as well. Another recent trend has been the proliferation of Instant Message spamming. I know that AOL and Microsoft are working hard to combat this scourge, but I believe regulations with realistic penalties and reasonable enforcement resources would help in the battle. I respectfully suggest that THIS is a far more serious problem and one that that avoids the First Amendment considerations that might hamper writing enforceable regulations of Spam.