|Received:||8/17/2004 4:08:40 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Definitions, Implementation, and Reporting Requirements Under the CAN-SPAM Act (NPRM)|
Comments:The relevant criteria for unwanted email varies from recipient to recipient, so it's nearly impossible to define spam based on content alone. The option is to either consider all unsolicited bulk email illegal, or none at all. That being said, legislation of any kind can never be of use in the fight against spam if no one can track the sender and punish them for breaking the law. When spamming is truly outlawed, only outlaws will spam... and the problem will continue to be just as bad as it is now. Therefore, I think the focus should be moved away from asking criminals to comply with the law and on to improving the technology of email itself. Place the anti-spam effort in the hands of the recipients, not the senders. The only way to avoid spam entirely would be for there to be an internationally recognized standard of sender verification, available for free to be used by all major email services. Thus, the spammers would be exposed to the majority of their recipients, allowing the end-user to decide what mail they don't want more effectively. Only those who used some sort of non-standardized email system would ever get any spam again. Remember - you can't stop the spammers, but you can make it easier for people to avoid them, thereby reducing the profits and ending their business. The real spammers will never comply with any laws you make, so why not try to make it easier to catch them in the act instead?