Law Puts Bluster Ahead of Bite ...

 
 
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2003-10-06 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

California's anti-spam law, which enables residents, the state attorney general and ISPs to seek civil damages from spammers, will undoubtedly spark lawsuits and perhaps even legal victories.

Californias anti-spam law, which enables residents, the state attorney general and ISPs to seek civil damages from spammers, will undoubtedly spark lawsuits and perhaps even legal victories.

However, although California Senate Bill 186: Restrictions On Unsolicited Commercial E-mail Advertisers will likely catch some culprits, legislators will be outwitted by spammers who are motivated by the huge return on investment that they enjoy from bulk commercial e-mail.

The new law is filled with loopholes for what Ill call legitimate businesses (for example, established insurance companies, banks and e-mail providers such as Microsofts Hotmail) and plenty of potential legal stumbling blocks.

Under the California law, Hotmail and other businesses can spam free e-mail users to their hearts content.

As for legal stumbling blocks, Im especially fond of the definition of a California e-mail address. Among other conditions, this can be "an e-mail address ordinarily accessed from a computer located in the state." Good luck pinning that down in court.

Technology, and a healthy dose of cost-shifting to the recipient, is what makes spam appealing. Anti-spam technology that keeps up with the spammers is what will take it down. In the case of the anti-spam battle, legislation will likely prove too slow to adequately counter the fast-moving world of spam.

 
 
 
 
Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at cameron.sturdevant@quinstreet.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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