To All the People Whining That CAN-SPAM Hasn’t Worked
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It happens at least twice a week. Some reporter, pundit, or well-meaning but tunnel-visioned anti-spammer will point triumphantly to the fact that the load of spam in their inbox has not decreased – in fact, if anything, increased – since January 1, 2004, when the CAN-SPAM Act became effective, as evidence that the new Federal law has done nothing to stop spam.

Well, yes.


The thing is, CAN-SPAM is a law. That means that it is prospective, and its initial strength, if any, will be in enforcement, not deterrence (once there has been visible and painful enforcement, *then* comes deterrence). What this means is that in addition to the law being passed, a case needs to be filed, a trial needs to occur, and a verdict needs to be reached. Then, most likely, an appeal has to be defended. Even on the fast track, it usually takes months (sometimes on the order of years) before a case finally reaches conclusion.

So, will CAN-SPAM actually make a difference? Yes, probably it will, but as but one of several tools needed in the anti-spam arsenal (the others being technical solutions and industry change, both of which are evolving at the same time as the law).

But don’t take my word for it; ask Bob Vila.

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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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Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

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