Jail Time for Spammers?
U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., today introduced a bill that proposes the toughest penalties yet for spammers, including jail time.Joining the growing crusade against the scourge of e-mail messages like "$2,000,000 Instant Win Game!," "Hot, Horny Sex Videos!," and "Feel and Look Younger Again!," U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on Tuesday introduced a bill that proposes the toughest penalties yet for spammers, including jail time. Illustrating the level of frustration lawmakers are registering over unwanted commercial e-mail, repeat spammers could be sentenced to up to two years in prison under the proposed legislation. According to a report compiled by Schumers office, more than eight million junk e-mails a day are delivered to New York City residents alone. Getting rid of the unwanted messages takes New Yorkers 4.2 million hours a year, assuming it takes five seconds to identify and delete each spam, the study found.
Schumers bill would establish a no-spam directory, similar to the do-not-call lists created by the Federal Trade Commission and by numerous state regulators to curb unwanted telemarketing. The FTC would create a "no-spam" registry that could be viewed on its Web site, and commercial e-mailers would have to review the list before sending mass e-mail. The bill would set aside $75 million to set up and maintain the registry and enforce the provisions.