The CAN-SPAM Act as a warning

It is widely expected that the new Congress and administration will be passing a lot of regulations to deal with all sorts of perceived problems. It may be that the now 5-year-old CAN-SPAM Act is one of the better examples of what not to do as far as regulations go.When it was passed, the act (official name: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) was touted — by the politicians at least — as a tool to help control the growth of spam. Few of us in the tech world thought it would do any good, and in fact, the general feeling was that it was actually designed to legitimize unsolicited e-mail (see “Can: to be enabled by law”).

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