|Received:||3/31/2004 4:29:16 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Addition to "aggravated violations" in question D1 should include egregious efforts taken to avoid email filtering technology at the ISP level. An example would be modifying the word "Viagra" to "V.1.gR4" in order to bypass anti-spam systems. Another example would be adding entire passages of random text in order to make the message appear "unique" to a volume aggregate based anti-spam system. Clarification for E2: The Act has been violated if the sender of the message was the company who received the "opt-out" request, or a company hired to send on behalf of the company who received the "opt-out" request. An email newsletter publisher who includes advertising for other companies in his publications, for example, should not be liable for including an ad for a company from whom the recpient of the newsletter has previously opted out, as the newsletter is not being distributed on behalf of or at the behest of the advertising companies. On the Do Not Email List: The DNE list would be a poor idea to implement, simply because the functionality of such a list would not be analogous to the current Do Not Call list. Unlike phone numbers, email addresses are transient, and usually exist in multiple copies for a single person. The DNE list would grow quite large, and would be logistically infeasible to offer to the many legitimate email marketers that would be forced to query the list for each marketing campaign. Moreover, such a list would only be used by law-abiding US-based companies. This will severely limit the amount of legitimate communication that US companies would have with US citizens, but will do nothing to stem the flow of fraudulent, unsolicited, and malicious email often sent to recipients from global locations and virus-infected machines. Because of the public's perception that a Do Not Email list would "solve" the spam problem, the list would see a volume of additions much greater than what was seen for the Do Not Call list, and will only serve to hamper the ability of US companies to communicate with a large portion of the US population, rather than preventing the type of unwanted email which is the core of the problem.