Jail Time for Spammers? - Page 2

Earlier this month, Sens. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., re-introduced the CAN-SPAM bill, which won the support of the Senate Commerce Committee last year but did not make it to a vote on the Senate floor. Backed by large Internet Service Providers, including Yahoo! Inc. and America Online Inc., the Burns/Wyden bill would require that all unsolicited marketing e-mail contain a valid return address and an accurate subject heading. Senders would be banned from sending further messages once a consumer asked them to stop.

While praising the Burns/Wyden initiative as a "good, first step," Schumer said it doesnt go far enough. His proposal also delves into the problem of automated e-mail address harvesting. Software programs that automatically crawl the Web and locate e-mail addresses in public areas such as Web sites, news groups and chat rooms, would be banned.

The Federal Trade Commission Wednesday will open a three-day forum in Washington on the problem of spam and how best to combat it.