CAN-SPAM Allows ISPs to Filter Email
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There has been a lot of chaff flying around the Internet in the past few weeks about whether CAN-SPAM makes it illegal for ISPs to filter or block spam.

So here’s the deal:


It doesn’t.

CAN-SPAM does not, not NOT require an ISP to accept email, CAN-SPAM compliant or otherwise. Period.

Don’t believe Aunty?

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Here is the actual language from CAN-SPAM – copy and pasted directly from the text of CAN-SPAM:

“c) NO EFFECT ON POLICIES OF PROVIDERS OF INTERNET ACCESS SERVICE.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to have any effect on the lawfulness or unlawfulness, under any other provision of law, of the adoption, implementation, or enforcement by a provider of Internet access service of a policy of declining to transmit, route, relay, handle, or store certain types of electronic mail messages.”

Ok? Got it? CAN-SPAM not only does not require an ISP to accept any type of email – even email which complies with CAN-SPAM – but it very clearly exempts ISPs from having to accept any type of email, even email which complies with CAN-SPAM, absent some other law to the contrary.

 

Unless and until some other law is passed which requires an ISP to accept a particular type of email (at present there are none), no spammer can hope to win a lawsuit by whining “but my email was CAN-SPAM compliant and they rejected it.”

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “CAN-SPAM Allows ISPs to Filter Email
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  1. Good grief, people are still confused about this? This was the major point in the “well, it’s not all bad” talk when the law was passed—in 2003!

    I don’t even want to think about what would happen if ISPs were denied the ability to filter mail. Our customers’ mailboxes would go from about 10% spam (most of that labeled) to about 85%. Never mind the viruses.

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