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The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003

A Bit Of History About CAN-SPAM

The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was signed into law on December 16, 2003 by President George W. Bush.  This law was the United State's first attempt at a national regulation for the sending of commercial email.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for regulating and enforcing the law. 

CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is an acronym which stands for: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003.  Many anti-spammers have taken a stance against this law claiming that it is a failed attempt at really regulating spam within the United States and is too weak to really halt the sending of spam.  Many even call it the You-Can-Spam Act because the law does not require emailers to obtain permission from those they email before sending email marketing messages.  The law also prohibits individual states who wish to pass stronger anti-spam laws from doing so.  In addition, individuals who receive spam mail are not allowed to sue the sender of the spam.  While companies that send these emails are required to provide a return address in their emails, only legitimate and legal companies abide by this rule.  Most senders of spam are illegitimate companies who are operating outside of the United States.  Therefore, there is no means to enforce this requirement of the law.


Enacted legislation:

 

Proposed legislation:

 

State legislation

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