FRAMINGHAM (10/24/2003) - The Senate last week passed the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) bill, designed to regulate unsolicited commercial e-mail. CAN-SPAM requires commercial e-mail to include valid opt-out mechanisms and allows fines of up to US$100 per piece of spam sent with misleading header information, with maximum penalties of $3 million for some types of spam and prison sentences for certain spamming practices. The bill also requires the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to deliver to Congress a plan to create a national do-not-spam registry within six months and authorize the FTC to launch it within nine months of the bill's passage. CAN-SPAM would have to be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by President Bush. No anti-spam bill has yet been approved by a committee in the U.S. House. Critics of CAN-SPAM say its provisions requiring consumers to opt out of unsolicited e-mail instead of opting in to commercial e-mail make it a pro-spam, not an anti-spam, bill.
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