Each year at this time, we summarize major positions we have taken in the past year on the most important issues that affect you, our readers. As the fundamental value of e-business emerges from the shadow of the dot-com bust, its clear the Internet will be deeply rooted in future economic growth and our personal lives. Legislators, regulators and judges have been grappling with how to preserve its benefits while curbing its abuses. Our positions in the past year reflected this struggle.
Spam has made the mistake that dooms a parasite: It has become too hard to ignore. However, the passage of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is not likely to bring about its extinction. We urge legislators to revisit this issue in 2004 and enact a law that includes stiff penalties for spammers. In the meantime, businesses will spend millions on anti-spam remedies that will not be wholly effective. Like a cure for a pernicious disease, the cure for spam may take years.