Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

US House, Senate Agree on Anti-Spam Bill

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the writing-on-the-wall dept.

Spam 448

Folic_Acid writes "Rep. Billy Tauzin, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee, has announced that the House and the Senate have reached a deal to both pass an anti-spam bill, the first ever federal anti-spam law in the United States. Specifically, the law contains: opt-out, authority for the FTC to set up a "Do-Not-SPAM" registry, criminal charges for fraudulent spam, including five years in prison, statutory damages of $2 million for violations, tripled to $6 million for intentional violations, unlimited damages for fraud and abuse." News.com has a copy of the bill and a story.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The RIAA/MPAA has their mitts in this one too! (5, Interesting)

corebreech (469871) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532029)

Go to http://thomas.loc.gov [loc.gov] and do a bill search on "anti-spam" and read the Senate version, from which I quote:

...the term `unsolicited commercial electronic mail message' does not include an electronic mail message sent by or on behalf of one or more lawful owners of copyright, patent, publicity, or trademark rights to an unauthorized user of protected material notifying such user that the use is unauthorized and requesting that the use be terminated or that permission for such use be obtained from the rights holder or holders.


Unbelievable.

Re:The RIAA/MPAA has their mitts in this one too! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532058)

We have the best government money can buy!

~~~

Translated version (2, Insightful)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532077)

If anyone wants to hear that in English, it sounds like they're saying that the MPAA- and RIAA- bots don't count as SPAM.

Too bad.

Re:Translated version (5, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532115)

If anyone wants to hear that in English, it sounds like they're saying that the MPAA- and RIAA- bots don't count as SPAM.

They do if the the intended recipient of the mail is not, indeed, using said protected material unlawfully. Hmmmmmm. This could be VERY interesting the next time they make a mistake on the identity of the alleged pirate.

Re:Translated version (1)

realdpk (116490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532127)

But only if they send messages to actual unauthorized users. Those of us who don't distribute mp3s are still safe. And it'd be against the law to spam us still. ;)

So a false notice by the RIAA *D *is* SPAM? (4, Insightful)

Jammer@CMH (117977) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532130)

If I read that right, it appears to say that an electronic mail message sent by or on behalf of one or more lawful owners of copyright, patent, publicity, or trademark rights to an innocent person is SPAM. Fascinating. What is the RIAA's error rate, and what is the fine for repeated violations?

Nonsense (2, Insightful)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532183)

Thats a tough one. Generally its not considered unsolicited advertising if you have prior business with the entity. See the Do-Not-Call list. If I have a credit card with a bank, and the banks calls me out of the blue to try to sell me anti-fraud protection, that is legal, and should be. If one is using the material of the copyright, patent, publicity, or trademark rights holder, you have prior business with the entity (business that was initiated by the end user, specifically). Therefore, like Do-Not-Call, that entity is allowed to contact you to offer such wonderful opportunities as settling out of court to avoid a massive infringement lawsuit.

I fail to see the problem, or even while this special exemption was necessary. Also note this would protect rights holders whose works are published under the GPL as well as the **AA.

So hate on haters.

This is to be consitent with DMCA's safe-harbor (4, Informative)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532184)

DCMA has a safe-harbor provision, which gives infringers an out if they take down the infringing material once notified by the IP owner.

From keytlaw [keytlaw.com]

  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act Safe Harbor
    The simplest, cheapest and best way a web site owner may protect against liability for copyright infringement resulting from users' uploaded content is to comply with the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Web site owners who comply with the requirements of the DMCA and who take appropriate action after receiving notice of copyright infringement from a copyright owner, will not be liable for money damages for users' uploaded content.
I think they just wanted to make it consitent with DMCA.

The closest distance between two points is a tunnel
- Lyndon Johnson.

Re:The RIAA/MPAA has their mitts in this one too! (3, Insightful)

originalTMAN (694813) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532185)

I would 1.) Rather be notified if I was in violation of someone elses licence/copyright/patent/trademark. I like not getting randomly sued for... say... using a coca-cola logo on my homepage which sells homebrew snowboarding t-shirts. 2.) Would like the ability to notify others if they were violating my intellectual property. Maybe I'm missing something... how is this so different than a "friendly" notice. It's better than a supoena, no? Last time I checked, its not just coorporations that can have IP.

Re:The RIAA/MPAA has their mitts in this one too! (2, Insightful)

aridhol (112307) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532188)

Translation - "If we think you stole something from us, we can contact you." I don't think that's unreasonable.

Re:The RIAA/MPAA has their mitts in this one too! (1)

mykdavies (1369) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532210)

The implication here is that if you libel any member of the **AA, any email communication from their lawyers WOULD count as spam, and would open them up to prosecution!

Ownij (-1, Offtopic)

Karma Sink (229208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532031)

First Post for love! I adore you, Katie!

Re:Ownij (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532045)

hahah katie is going to be crushed....UNDER MY MASSIVE PENIS!

Re:Ownij (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532059)

I fail it. :(

Re:Ownij (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532222)

As usual, Katie will be left dissapointed by your efforts.

Finally! (3, Interesting)

jon3k (691256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532036)

This has been a long time coming, I hope we're actually able to enforce it. Although, its going to be tough with all the world wide spam.

Is this really just fluff to impress voters? Or do you think it will actually carry any weight?

Re:Finally! (1, Interesting)

aborchers (471342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532146)

its going to be tough with all the world wide spam.


Not a problem. Mail server operators simply block the network ranges of countries that refuse to enact similar policies and if they want to have traffic with the US they will comply.

I already block .ru, .hk, .ch, and .tw, and others because a large fraction of my spam came from there and I received essentially 0 legitimate mail from those blocks. My rejection notice includes a link to a Web form that will allow innocents to bypass the filters.

Re:Finally! (5, Insightful)

revmoo (652952) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532274)

No, It's a _horrible_ idea. Two things.

(1.) U.S. Laws only reach as far as U.S. borders. Where does 95% of spam come from?

(2.) What is to stop spammers(who have previously shown themselves to be willing to break the law and root people's servers to use as relays) from using this Do-not-spam list as a database to spam? I mean, think about it, a nice, large index of completely valid email addresses? This is spammer gold people!

SPAM fines (1, Insightful)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532038)

"Enforces statutory damages of $2 million for violations, tripled to $6 million for intentional violations, and unlimited damages for fraud and abuse."

Does this mean that if you are a spammer in the USA, and you spam addresses outside of the US, you will be fined $6 million dollars? Or does it mean that if you are a spammer from outside the USA, and you spam inside the USA, you will be fined by the USA for doing so? Or does it cover both as international violations?

How is the average SPAMming scumbag supposed to know where his 1.6 million email addresses are going? Do you look at every AOL email addy and assume it's linked to a user in the states? Okay, now what about Hotmail? Does this mean a new database of SPAMworthy email addys will be created so that SPAMmmers will have to use it against their lists, to prevent fines? Might be a good way to lower the bounce-count, at the bare min... not to mention, a way to perhaps add a SPAM-surcharge, so that SPAMmers will have to pay to SPAM.

The meaning of this could get mixed into a quagmire. I wouldn't care, because they are spammers (so who cares anyway), but I wouldn't want to see some of the more savvy ones wiggle off the hook because of some point of law that was overlooked. I mean, at least the law is here, but let's really have at it and make it solid.

IANAL, but American law only applies to America, right? How are they going to stop the spam coming into the states? Many of the offenders exist outside the States. Is if the next US lead war is going to be against countries who SPAM, and rip off Americans with Nigerian scams? That'd be funny as hell!

But as for unlimited damages for fraud and abuse, I think it's a good idea that the US Gov't has the power to bankrupt SPAM companies that lie, cheat and steal. How can I convince my own govrenment (Canada) to do something like this?

Re:SPAM fines (5, Funny)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532065)

that says INTENTIONAL not INTERNATIONAL

Re:SPAM fines (2, Funny)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532080)

OK, time to go home. *sigh*

Re:SPAM fines (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532149)

OK, time to go home. *sigh*

Yeah, but what's worse is that at least one of the moderators made the same mistake. :-)

Re:SPAM fines (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532269)

Most mods are too busy jerking off to tenticle rape anime or NAMBLA porn to notice subtle mistakes.

Re:SPAM fines (2, Informative)

Lxy (80823) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532074)

The word is "intentional", as in "I was purposely breaking the law" as opposed to statutory, "I didn't know I was breaking the law".

Re:SPAM fines (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532158)

more like intentional as in "I did extra work to ensure that the return address on the email was jane12357@aol.com even though that's not my email address" vs "I was using netscape at the public library to send an email and forgot to set the email preferences".

Re:SPAM fines (1)

RedA$$edMonkey (688732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532297)

The word is "intentional", as in "I was purposely breaking the law" as opposed to statutory, "I didn't know I was breaking the law".

Since when does statutory mean "I didn't know I was breaking the law"? It's not statutory because "I didn't know she was 16". It means of or relating to a law enacted by the legislative branch of a government not a law that someone didn't know about.

Re:SPAM fines (1)

Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532085)

It says "INTENTIONAL" as "you intended to defraud people", not "INTERNATIONAL"...

Re:SPAM fines (1)

livewirevoodoo (74316) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532089)

well considering the word you quoted is intentional not international then I'd say this(specific part) has nothing to do with international aspects of it, this has to do with doing it when you know what you're doing is wrong and you do it anyway.

Re:SPAM fines (1)

qwerty823 (126234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532099)

"Enforces statutory damages of $2 million for violations, tripled to $6 million for intentional violations, and unlimited damages for fraud and abuse."

You, sir, are fined for not reading clearly!

Last time i checked, intentional and international were two different words. I believe they still are.

intentional, not international (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532102)

learn to read, you moron!

Re:SPAM fines (0)

scifience (674659) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532105)

I would assume that the database of registered e-mail addresses will be purchased by spammers to cross-reference with their databases, since this is the way that the Do-Not-Call registry works.

However, if this really is how it works, the possibility for a someone outside the reach of the law to get a hold of the millions of e-mail addresses in the database is far too high, IMHO. Think about it...do you want a spammer to have access to almost ever e-mail address in America?

Of course, nobody is saying that this is how the list will work; it is just an educated guess based on the Do-Not-Call list.

Re:SPAM fines (1)

Chiron Taltos (694030) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532108)

Um, unless you copied the article wrong ... it says intentional, not international.

Re:SPAM fines (1)

putamare (726028) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532110)

intentional != international

This is a BAD bill (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532156)

This is a BAD bill... it preempts all state spam laws -- some of which are actually decent, and let US the CONSUMERS go after the spammers instead of depending on fat, lazy, guberment morons to do it.

Don't preempt the SPAM state laws!!!

Wrong ! This is an EXCELLENT bill (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532300)

because the 'Do Not Call List' worked !

And now it will work again for SPAM !

No one is taking powers away from the states from suing. Double whammey .

Re:SPAM fines (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532163)

$2 million for violations, tripled to $6 million for intentional violations

Sounds like they're making a distinction between intentional and non-intentional... as in hijacked pc's??? I don't want to wake up one day and have a $2 mill lawsuit on my front door having no clue someone hijacked my pc and sent spam. I'm pretty up on my protection and common sense, but this is kinda scary. ????

How? (2, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532042)

How can any of them possibly believe that this would do any good?

Re:How? (5, Insightful)

peezer (682955) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532106)

I think that congress (and your average citizen) believes that legislation is the solution to most problems. The SPAM wars will be fought and won with innovative technology, not with legislation. Don't get me wrong, some of the acts spammers engage in should definitely be illegal. But they should be illegal on principled grounds, no on the hope of detterence.

Re:How? (2, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532181)

Effectiveness doesn't matter. What does matter is that these congressmen and senators can now add "fighting to protect your family from the horrors of spam email" to their campaign literature for next fall. For a certain portion of voters (read: the tech-norant), this actually looks like action...

Hey, I kinda like that word. Tech-norant, as in "tech ignorant."

Unlimited Damages ...!? (4, Funny)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532051)

... unlimited damages for fraud and abuse.

What the -- unlimited damages ...?!

Holy crap, get ready for the undead legion of attorneys to rise from the grave!

-kgj

Mwa ha ha! (1)

shystershep (643874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532124)

"Brains . . . brains . . . "

Hopefully... (1)

midifarm (666278) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532054)

this bill will include sanctions or fines directed AT the companies that hope to benefit from this spam.

Peace

Exactly... (4, Insightful)

setzman (541053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532056)

How will this be enforced? The global nature of the Internet seems to be unmanagable by a single government.

Re:Exactly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532114)

How will this be enforced?

One "liberation" at a time...

Re:Exactly... (1)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532177)

There's no pleasing you... At least this will stop (legit) US businesses from spamming. Remember that the biggest spammers are just selling their "service", not products.

Re:Exactly... (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532190)

True but it is a start. The EU has outlawed spam, and I believe Australia has as well. The next step is for these governments to start working together to deal with cross border spam.

If you receive spam from the UK, for example, you can report it to ASA http://www.asa.org.uk and they will do something about it. Not much. but something.

Around 90% of my spam comes from US companies - not necessarily from US servers, but they will fall under US law.

enforcement? (0)

ed8150 (554077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532057)

how exactly do they plan to enforce it? are we going to invade nigeria/china/indonesia for sending spam?

Oil, oil, and more oil (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532229)

are we going to invade nigeria/china/indonesia for sending spam?

Probably not. Instead, we'll invade them for the oil.

-kgj

Oooo...Oooo...I have a question! (2, Funny)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532061)



Aren't those old dudes in the Senate the ones that are buying all that Viagra?

I thought so.

more of the same (4, Informative)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532063)

While I applaud the intent, unfortunately this is another totally ineffective anti-spam legislation. There are plenty of laws already on the books making 99.9% of spam illegal, but the problem is the government and related law enforcement agencies do not enforce the existing laws so why would anyone think this is any different? People need to realize that passing a law, and enforcing a law are entirely different. This is like going into a book store and buying a book, but not reading it! I hear next week Tauzin is going to solve the world hunger problem by passing a law making it illegal to throw out leftovers. Hurrah!

At this point, the only way you can realistically take action against a spammer based on these laws is by printing them out, finding the spammer and then hitting him over the head with the actual laws. Law enforcement agencies and district attorneys have repeatedly demonstrated an apathy towards pursuing and prosecuting spammers. The FBI has a monetary threshold of damages on any case of this nature it even elects to investigate. There are virtually no resources dedicated to enforcing this bill and there are no competent agencies available to even investigate! Please send a message to your political leaders that enforcement and not more laws are key to dealing with this problem.

The law looks good, but without dedicated provisions and a change in policy which will actually insure that these issues will be enforced, this is just a joke.

Re:more of the same (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532176)

There are plenty of laws already on the books making 99.9% of spam illegal, but the problem is the government and related law enforcement agencies do not enforce the existing laws so why would anyone think this is any different?

I would expect that this new law will close many of the loopholes that other laws leave. That will make it much more difficult for someone accused of a criminal offense by spamming to win the court battle that follows.

Re:more of the same (1)

LS (57954) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532178)

Also, you entirely left out the issue of dealing with spam originating outside of the US. Are we going to build a Great Firewall like China? I think not...

Re:more of the same (1)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532261)

I have already thought of this and have the perfect solution, which I posted HERE [slashdot.org] - an officially-sanctioned SMTP relay whitelist. It makes tremendous sense and would also stop the majority of worm/virus propagation on the net as well.

Office Space, anyone?... (5, Funny)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532072)

"including five years in [Federal Pound-Me-In-The-Ass] prison"

Bet someone's going to regret pushing all those penis patches (of grow 3 inches! fame).

Re:Office Space, anyone?... (1)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532221)

No they won't. With a penis that's 30-70% longer, they'll have other convicts BEGGING to be their bitches!

how long before... (4, Insightful)

civilengineer (669209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532075)

some state court says that's unconstitutional and lets spammers spam?

Re:how long before... (4, Insightful)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532194)

"how long before some state court says that's unconstitutional and lets spammers spam?"

Pretty long, seeing as state courts can't rule on a Federal issue. Spam, being 'insterstate commerce' (in a manner of speaking) is most certainly all Federal. I also doubt there are many Federal courts that would consider the question of the bill's constitutionality. You have the right to speak, not to be heard; most certainly not at someone else's expense. If you had the right to be heard by your audience, you could sue deaf people for violating your right to free speech. How absurd is that? Free speech protects you when you're standing on a corner preaching your religious views or publishing a political opposition newspaper. It does not force everyone to stop and listen to you speak, nor force anyone to buy a copy of your newspaper.

If spammers want to continue to spam legally, they ought to stand on a street corner and hand out fliers to anyone who wants one. Thus, the optimal example of an 'opt-in' system. The way it works now, they're jamming the fliers into your pocket, whether you want them or not, to the point that your pockets explode when you get home. Every time you try to cover your pockets, they find another way to jam another flier into your pants. Activity like that would get you shot in New York, and perhaps worse in L.A.

Re:how long before... (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532199)

State courts can't say a thing about a federal law.

Now some federal district judge could allow spammers to claim it was unconstitutional. I would actually encourage this, as I want the supreme court to say once and for all that commercial speech is not protected by the first amendment.

If the court said otherwise, and directly overruled something supported by congress AND the people, then it would be the time for a constitutional amendment that changes companies back from the human-demi-gods they claim to be into the sub-human form they deserve. (An amendment such as that, as a side effect, would probably block commercial campaign donations too, ending another problem.)

deeply dissapointed (2, Interesting)

cluge (114877) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532081)

A few things that the bill missed

1. No requirement for opt-in
2. No jail time only monetary damages
3. No public stonings

Re:deeply dissapointed (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532225)

You're soft on crime. I was hoping for immolation & castration options. :(

Re:deeply dissapointed (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532227)

1. No requirement for opt-in

I think the DO-NOT-SPAM registry pretty much takes care of that.

2. No jail time only monetary damages

Not true. Senders of fraudulent SPAM are subject to five years in prison.

3. No public stonings

OK well, I guess we'll all have to make a compromise here. Maybe we can get them to introduce public stonings for repeat offenders?

Did you read? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532270)

Either the article or the summary:

Makes it a crime, subject to five years in prison, to send fraudulent SPAM

While of course, fraud is already fraud... this covers in particular spam fraud - which does account for a goodly percentage of total spam.

I personally don't think that somebody needs to go to jail for spamming, there are cases where spamming is accidental or at very least due to extreme ignorance (see those who hire spammers). Not to mention the spambots hijacking computers... wouldn't want to face jailtime for that either.

No, I think I'll stick with large monentary damages to spammers and jail-time for fraud. Public stonings aren't a bad idea though.

Oh, and opt-in would have to be very well worded or otherwise useless. The first time you sign up for a service on the network with spamming "partners" you'd have opted in...

How Exactly (1)

ed333 (684843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532096)

is this measure to be enforced, given that most spammers are not operating from the States? How do I, Joe Consumer, expect to be compensated for the oodles of spam that I am sure to continue receiving after this bill is passed?

Most spam *IS* from the USA (4, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532223)

I direct you to Spamhaus.org rokso list [spamhaus.org]

Have a quick scan down the list of countries...

Simon

Re:How Exactly (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532244)

They may be using open proxies in South Korea, but they are mainly US companies.

If you do get spam from the EU, you could take action there. It may be a bit difficult, and you might need to learn a new language, but it is possible.

Re:How Exactly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532320)

Huh? most spammers are not operating from the States - where else are they?

The spam I get comes 90% from USA and is intended for US-citizens. Unfortunately I cannot benefit from those additional 3 inches, as I live in Europe...

Whoopie (1)

ActionPlant (721843) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532109)

Oh yay, another "do not..." registry. As if that'll work. What happened with the "do not call" registry? We got hammered with spam. If there's a new "do not spam" registry, what happens next? Flyers dumped out of airplanes? Something tells me cleaning out the pool is gonna become a bitch.

Damon,

Not going to sign up for Don't-email-list (3, Insightful)

deadmongrel (621467) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532111)

The very idea of don't email list is stupid. the only way to fight spam is by attacking their business model. You get spam because some idiot thinks he is getting a good deal for the product that the spammer sells. don't the law makers know that there is a diff between phones and emails? it costs real money to call someone to sell something but it costs almost nothing to send out emails. Also what about security for these Don't-emails-lists(if they are created)? what are they going to do give the spammer a list of email address he shouldn't email? yeah right. I bet the spammers would support this bill.

Re:Not going to sign up for Don't-email-list (2, Insightful)

jjo (62046) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532249)

The only way a do-not-spam list will be effective is if it includes whole domains. For example, if AOL could specify that any address in aol.com is to be considered on the do-not-spam list, then the list would be worth something. This would make the list easy to deal with, since you wouldn't need to keep it secret.

The previous version of the bill didn't specify whether entire domains would be included, but apparently left it to the FCC to decide. Of course, the DMA and their pet congressmen want the bill as weak as possible, so the latest draft of the bill might have been changed to prohibit inclusion of entire domains.

Re:Not going to sign up for Don't-email-list (1)

the morgawr (670303) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532285)

One way to do it is to have a government database, that spammers don't have access to. Given a list of email addresses, the database app will tell you which you cannot mail too.

Re:Not going to sign up for Don't-email-list (1)

Soul Brother #1 (15266) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532288)

Don't forget, there are those who want to solve this problem by making e-mail [slashdot.org] as expensive (well, maybe not exactly as expensive, but you get the idea) as phone calls...

-W

Re:Not going to sign up for Don't-email-list (1)

mal3 (59208) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532317)

They could(should) set the database up differently. Rather than handing the spammers a list of email addys and saying go at it. The spammers should have to send their list, and get each address approved. Or alternately only give the spammers a MD5 hash of the addresses. Then make them compare against that.

The spammer will be able to tell if one of their addresses is on the list but not know what the list is.

Finally.. (2, Interesting)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532119)

Finally, we get an antispam bill. Only this time, it won't be delayed like the nocall list was. What spammer would object to it publicly? If he/she did, they'd be lynched (I'll be the one holding the 10 yr old motherboard; can't use the comp for anything else, so might as well go to a good cause).

First thing, I'm going and registering all the domains I own, and my comcast account. Then, for good measure, I'm going to see if I can pipe all emails through servers in California.

One question: does this federal law overrule the Calif law, and if so, is it for better or worse? What's CAUCE's opinion on this?

Unlimited damages (5, Funny)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532126)

...reminds me of an NDA from Sony I signed in a previous life. Buried deep in the middle of it was the phrase (from memory)

"Should PARTNER at any time divulge material covered by this agreement, then financial reparation may not be sufficient"...

(No, the NDA wasn't under the NDA - do you think I'd be telling you this, if it was ???)

I never did get clarification on what non-financial reparations would be demanded (first-born son?, ritual dismemberment ?)

Simon.

what?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532131)

The brilliant idea of taxing emails [slashdot.org] didn't pass?

it's not perfect (1)

burninginside (631942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532139)

but at least it's a start...hopefully the bill will be improved upon & enforced...

What about the people... (2, Insightful)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532160)

whose computers are hacked by spammers, who proceed to use that person's e-mail address as a source of spam? Are they gonna make those people pay the $2 million?

Re:What about the people... (1)

herrvinny (698679) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532207)

Yes.

Maybe that'll start showing people they need to install firewalls and virusscanners. If a few examples are made, perhaps people will finally learn.

Problem is.. (1)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532162)

...enforcement.

Make all the laws you want. How can you enforce it, when the spammers are in S.Korea, or in an Eastern Bloc country?

or:
"The intarweb worm diddit!!"

Do-not-spam list (1)

ViolentGreen (704134) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532165)

Putting your address will give foreign spammers a list of lots of active US email addresses. There will be no way for the US government to do anything aobut this.

There will me no way that my main address gets on there. I will put my secondary address on there to see if it makes any difference.

SPAMmer are shaking in their boots (1)

RedA$$edMonkey (688732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532180)

Does anyone even know how many US spammers are out there? If there are only a few hundred this might help some but what if there are thousands or hundreds of thousands. Tracking them all down would be like trying to arrest all the people that speed or download mp3s, like stopping a tidal wave with your middle finger. They're not going to stop unless the risk outweighs the benefits and if all they get is a puny fine, if anyone can even catch them, then they are not going to even blink at this.

My phone still rings. (1)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532193)

In spite of the Do Not Call Registry, my phone still rings with sales weasels trying to get me to buy something. For some telemarkets, nothing has changed and the FTC is unable/unwilling to do anything about it. Other telemarketers have changed tactics, their calls are now veiled in the guise of surveys and "charities" but, by the end of the call you are being asked to buy something.

So what does this new upcoming law offer? I doubt very much that it will change anything. If anything does change, more than likely it will only be that more spammers will likely move offshore. A great deal of the spam I receive already originates in China or Russia, somewhat beyond the reach of US law.

Re:My phone still rings. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532284)

I haven't gotten any unwanted calls. Guess you just suck...

Here's what I'm going to do: (4, Insightful)

jkujawa (56195) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532195)

An experiment.

I'm going to create a new email account, and register it on the "do not spam" registry. It will have a random account name on my own domain.
I will not use this account for anything else.

As a control, I will create another random account under the same domain, and not use it anywhere, even on the "do not spam" registry.

I will measure how long it takes before the first address receives spam, how long before the second receives spam, and the amount of spam each receives.

Hypothesis: The first account will start receiving spam almost immediately. Due to the nature of the spam, the second should never receive spam unless someone is sending email to random 8-character accounts at my domain (brute force attack).

600.000.000 to opt our from (1)

MS (18681) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532200)

Imagine, if each Internet citizen is sending me one single unsolicited e-mail...

I should opt out from each of them?

If it takes 5 seconds to scan a single message, identify it as unwanted, searching for the opt-out link and clicking on it, this would take me 833333 hours, or 190 years (assuming I sit 12 hours a day in front of my pc).

:-(

A do not spam list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532205)

Are they insane? A spammer will just take the do-not-spam list to another country where they will spam you from, eliminating the need to populate their own email addresses.

Freedom? (0, Troll)

Darth Fredd (663620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532217)

I'm surprised that no slashdotters are screaming "foul". What with the freedom to trade music, etc, doesn't this put a damper on some freedom, rather?

From:evilDarthFredd@theworldisround.com
Subject :Hey yo!
Message content:
Hey brian, remember me? Hey, drop me a line, willya?

~EOF

Brian: I don't remember meeting this SOB..oh yes, it was HIM!!...SUE!!!! [calls lawyer]

And the rest is history.

How to fund enforcement (1, Redundant)

mabu (178417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532219)

According to statistics from last year, there are more than 27 million registered .com/net/org domain names. If each domain holder paid an additional $2/year for renewal, this would generate more than $50 million for cybercrime enforcement activities. If each domain holder paid $5/year, that would generate more than $1.3 BILLION DOLLARS that could be dedicated towards creating and funding an agency dedicated to actually enforcing all these laws that are currently un-enforced.

I don't know about anyone else, but the prospect of paying a few more dollars per year on my domain registrations would be worth eradicating spam, and it could generate enough money to easily fund whatever efforts were needed to finally enforce these laws, crack down on worm/virus developers and the plethora of other Internet-based crime that's going on.

Finally (1)

blackdragon7777 (720994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532233)

Yay, they are finally doing something to curb at least some of the spam. Hopefully this will work well. Another implementation idea is to make a user of an email account pay $.05 per email for every email over a set limit (on a per month basis). For example if a spammer sends out a spam to 20,000 people he would have to pay nearly $1000 just to do that which would make the spam model not worth it. This might cause some issues with businesses doing legitimate mail but I'm sure somebody has some thoughts on how to fix this idea.

Missing some points (1, Interesting)

spidergoat2 (715962) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532235)

It seems very weak. Under the heading, "Illicit harvesting of electronic mail addresses", it says that "uses an automated means to obtain electronic mail addresses from an Internet website or proprietary online service operated by another person, without the authorization of that person and uses those addresses in another violation of this chapter, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both." Nowhere does it state anything about using someone elses list that MAY have been illegally generated. And what about overseas spammers? What prevents me from going to Tobago and setting up shop? And what prevents Tobago, or some other 3rd world country, from becomming the haven for spammers? After all, if it generates tax revent for them, it's doing some good for them.

Unimpressed (1)

lurker412 (706164) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532238)

Aside from the well-known difficulties of enforcing legal measures against spammers, this bill has a number of problems. It trumps existing state laws, such as the stonger California law. Consent is determined on an opt-out basis, not opt-in (as in the California law). In the best of cases, then, every spammer can legally send you at least one email. You can then opt-out, which will work if you are lucky and confirm your email address as valid if you are not. As in the no-call list, exemptions are granted for charities and political action groups.

Won't help me much... (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532239)

I get more viruses than spam.

Except, what if the viruses are also spam?

A little overbroad (1, Insightful)

wizarddc (105860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532248)

As much as I hate spam, it shouldn't be a criminal offense, and especially should not have a prison sentence. Prisons are for those who are dangerous to society, and spam is just annoying, not dangerous. The unlimited damages part is scary enough, but I don't want my tax money paying for some spammer to get raped bi-weekly.

Re:A little overbroad (1)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532287)

Yeah we don't want spammers turning into serial killers once they're out of prison. Give'em a big fine, but prison?

Uh Huh (1)

Emperor Tiberius (673354) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532264)

Specifically, the law contains: opt-out, authority for the FTC to set up a "Do-Not-SPAM" registry, criminal charges for fraudulent spam, including five years in prison, statutory damages of $2 million for violations, tripled to $6 million for intentional violations, unlimited damages for fraud and abuse.

I suppose this means that Doubleclick can put a clear pixel data sniffer on the registry, just like AT&T did with the Do-Not-CALL registry? :-)

Help troubleshoot this DVD install. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7532275)

I just swapped over most the internals of an eMachines rig over to a different case for someone. I did install a new DVD drive they had lying around instead of the stock eMachines CD drive. Well the swap went fine, except the DVD drive will only read CDs and not DVDs. WHen I go through Windows Explorer oy My Computer to try to browse through a DVD, it says there is on disk in the drive. The only DVDs I have on hand are movie ones. And yes I've installed a DVD player. This DVD drive is very generic, I have no idea at the moment who made it (I'm trying to find out who). What are some issues that prevent me from reading DVDs? Is there a setting in Windows or BIOS I may have missed, or a special cable needed to be used, or some special driver? Any hints would help in getting the drive to read DVDs. Thanx

Real Bad Idea (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532277)

This is going to be abused real soon. While I hate spam, Once this law gets passed the Feds (Read the DOJ) will say that they do not have the ability to monitor what is being passed. At that point, they will push to have unlimited capabilities to monitor anything on the wire to detect spam, not just a "terrorist".
While I personally think that Ashcroft is abusing his power very badly, I can safely assume that will follow will make Ashcroft look like an angel. Absolute Power Corrupts absolutly.

Opt Out? (1)

RobFrontier (550029) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532295)

The right to Opt-out of SPAM, doesn't stop the SPAM. We shouldn't have to opt-out of something we shouldn't be getting/don't want in the first place. This will look great in their re-election campaigns, but has no bite at all.

MAILER-DAEMON: user unknown (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532310)

From: MAILER-DAEMON
To: U.S. Congress
Subject: undeliverable: user unknown

The following mail could not be delivered:
user unknown <joespammer@spammer.com>

> From: U.S. Congress
> To: <joespammer@spammer.com>
> Subject: You are under arrest
>
> Attention Joe Spammer,
> Please be notified that you are hereby under arrest for violating the new US Anti-Spam law.
> You will be subject to up to 5 years in jail
> and two million dollars in damage.
>
> Seriously yours,
> The U.S. Congress

Obligatory defeatest cynical comment (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7532312)

"This isn't going to single-handedly rid the world of spam overnight all by itself, ergo there's no point in even trying this."
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?