Washington D.C. to Get New Anti-Spam Law

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The District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.) is poised to get a brand new anti-spam law of their very own.

Many people don’t realize that Washington D.C., while a “district”, is not, in fact, a state. It is the capital city of the United States, and there have been movements to make D.C. a state, the last one as recently as 1993 when a Congressional vote shot down D.C.’s bid for statehood, but at present it is not a state.


Nor, however, is it synonymous with “the United States”, having a fairly autonomous political structure, including a D.C. council. So for those of you who read the headline and thought “Huh? Don’t we already have CAN-SPAM?”, consider this your civics lesson for the week. This is about a law for D.C. itself, just like Ohio just passed their own state anti-spam law, and like Georgia is poised to vote on their own law.

In any event, D.C. councilman David Catania has introduced a bill to the D.C. council which would make illegal sending spam to a citizen of Washington D.C., or for spam to be sent from a computer system located in D.C..

It has all of the usual prohibitions against email with spoofed headers, and no working opt-out, but it also has a couple of unique clauses. These include no sending email to a domain whose registered owner lives in D.C., no sending email designed to elicit personal information through deception (Aunty can imagine spam which would otherwise be legal under existing laws, with legitimate headers and such, but which still elicits personal information through deception, so at least on its face this seems a good idea), and immunity for ISPs so long as they are not the ones which are actually sending the spam.

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So good on ya, D.C. council, let’s hope that this passes for you!

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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