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David E. Sorkin, Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 45 Buffalo L. Rev. 1001 (1997).


Abstract

      The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (47 U.S.C. § 227), enacted in response to abuses by telemarketers, prohibits the sending of unsolicited advertisements to telephone facsimile machines, which it defines as equipment which can transcribe electronic signals received over a telephone line onto paper. This definition arguably includes electronic mail messages received using a personal computer equipped with a modem, courts have not yet addressed the applicability of the TCPA to e-mail.

      Unsolicited commercial e-mail is widely disfavored on the Internet and within commercial online services. Network service providers and individual users fight unsolicited e-mail using contractual prohibitions, rules of "netiquette," and various self-help mechanisms, but the TCPA could add a strong legal tool to their arsenal. Congress does not appear to have considered the Act's potential applicability to e-mail; the breadth of its definition of "telephone facsimile machine" appears to be accidental. However, the policies behind the ban on unsolicited fax advertising apply to e-mail as well as to conventional facsimile transmissions, and restrictions on unsolicited e-mail advertising would probably pass constitutional muster. Nonetheless, it is doubtful that courts will extend the TCPA as it currently stands to include e-mail advertising, and alternative methods of addressing the "junk e-mail" problem are likely to have fewer undesirable side effects.


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With the advent of wireless Internet, more and more computer users are entering the world of cyber space.

Yet, while these users are well aware of the importance of the protection of their computer when hooked up to regular internet providers, they are often oblivious to the fact that the same cyber dangers, and in fact even more, exist in the world of WiFi.

What you may not know is that same Internet connection that makes it possible to check your email from the comfort of your bed also makes it easier for hackers to access your personal information.

It is for this reason, the sharing of the wireless Internet connection, that protecting your computer when wireless is even more important than ever before.