Ohio Legislators Pass Tough New Anti-Spam Law

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You

Almost a year to the day that Federal law makers passed the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and sent it to the president for signing, the Ohio state legislature has passed, by 89-1, what is being lauded as one of the toughest anti-spam laws in the country.

Acts prohibited under the bill include sending as little as five pieces of commercial email where the sender either alters or hides the true origin of the email, and sending 250 such pieces of email a day (or 2,500 in one month or 25,000 in one year) raises the stakes to felony level.


Penalties include up to 18 months in prison, as well as seizure and forfeiture of equipment used during the commission of the crime.

The bill will be sent to Ohio Governor Bob Taft for signature.

Said America Online, a strong supporter of the Ohio bill, “The Ohio Legislature this afternoon has handed online consumers in the Buckeye State an early and important holiday gift in the form of one of the strongest anti-spam measures in the country.”

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For those of you playing along at home who are confused as to how a state can still pass an anti-spam law, when everyone said that CAN-SPAM preempts state law: it does preempt state law…except for when it doesn’t. There are certain actions which are reserved specifically to the Feds, at least in theory, however other areas are still wide open for state action. A great deal of it depends on both legislative wordsmithing, and legislative construction once a new state law has been passed. Too, can you really imagine the Feds going after a state because they..you know…actually took down a spammer, but did it with a state law?

You can read more about this at [Page no longer available – we have linked to the archive.org version instead], and TMC Net.

No Paywall Here!
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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