|Received:||4/16/2004 12:30:13 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Spam has definitely *INCREASED* since the Act was instituted and very few spammers comply with the Act and have a total disregard! That is NOT true for the net's citizens and businesses that operate legitimately. In fact, ONLY legitimate email is in Complaince with the Act! It is the inbox of the receiver that suffers, NOT the ISP's, as the subject lines are meaningless and takes productive time to deal with. ISP's are NOT taking action and the ACT appears to be trying to render *personal* emails useless! When I forward a message, the person is known and there is a relationship that exists or it wouldn't be forwarded! I don't LIKE ALL the email that is forwarded to me, but I DO like the people who are sending it! So trying to do anything on the "Forward-to-a-friend" email is going to make the Commission an adversary to every common man on the net! Don't interfere with our relationships! The net is ALL about relationships...not email! I opt-in to *receive* emails and feel those relationships should not be disturbed! Even MY ISP feels they have to block emails I want from those relationships and I would like to see legislation in that direction since I am the one paying for the service! Another BIG problem I see is the *blacklists* that have been started by what I consider Vigilante's on the net! These people have NO permission and NO rules governing them...Spamcop is one example that has been quite abusive! There needs to be regulations in this arena and a council to hear complaints! Otherwise *preferential* treatment of some emailers (specifically the owners of the blacklists and their friends!) take precedence over others and that has taken away the level playing field on the net! What the Commission needs to consider is that for persons to do business online requires they build a list and that the list is quite sacred! Most DO NO sharing of their lists and those who do should NOT! The sharing of lists has created a spam fest for some advertisers! There should be FULL disclosure on this aspect...and NOT tiny print that no one reads in terms and conditions...but right when you opt-in and on the SAME form! That should be the right of the owner of the email box to CHOOSE who can and cannot email them and co-registrations and 3rd parties are usually not disclosed. When people *choose* to opt-in to an email list they know they have the right to unsubscribe anytime and also know how to do it as most lists are quite clear! Nothing in the ACT should affect these relationship type of emails...Nothing! It would KILL the net and make it *email unfriendly*. The Commission needs to understand that Email IS the *killer application* on the net and responsible emailers are the majority, not the minority. To get rid of the minority spammer types there needs to be a way to report the abuse of the Act and Action needs to ensue. There is a way to track every email that is sent and bringing on the professionals who can do that would eliminate spam eventually as Public Notice of the Actions would eventually scare them ALL off! There are enough Stop Spam sites on the net to help the commission in this task and I would like to see the Commission embrace the net's communities that are working towards stopping spam. People change their email addresses almost as often as they change their wardrobe today due to SPAM. It is the only effective way for consumers to eliminate it. The most brilliant solution I have seen to date is BrightMail.com which catches spam at the server and allows people to scan message headings to assure that none of their personal email got caught. I have used this now for 3 years and it is 99.9% effective! This is a great solution for spam and should be looked at closely and even mandated to every email provider so they are not blocking messages we want! I want to thank the Commission for tackling this very huge project...and trust you will keep an open mind!