THEM AND US
Tough new legislation introducing fines for unsolicited junk e-mail, known as "spam", brought applause from Australia's direct marketing industry, which called for similar measures on an international scale.
...commercial organisations sending spam can be fined more than one million dollars (650,000 US dollars) a day.
Britain has announced that those sending unsolicited e-mail must get recipients' agreement in advance. Violators will be subject to fines of 5,000 pounds (US$8,000) or more and possible lawsuits from those they've targeted.
In its latest battle against junk e-mail, China has blocked 127 mail servers it identified as responsible for spam, the official Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday.
"This has been the first large-scale spammer blockade launched by the Chinese Internet industry," Ren Jinqiang, an official with the Internet Society of China, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.
One of the primary bills in Congress to crack down on spam e-mail contains a new provision that would shield bulk e-mailers from penalties if they agree to police themselves, raising new questions about the extent to which industry is influencing the legislation.
According to a revised draft of a bill being circulated to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, bulk mailers could form a self-regulatory group that would maintain anti-spam standards of conduct similar to those in the bill. Any member of the organization -- which would have to be approved by the Federal Trade Commission -- would be exempt from legal penalties that otherwise would apply to nonmembers....
"It's certainly something we've pushed for," said Microsoft spokesman Sean Sundwall, though he declined to say whether the company had any direct conversations with the bill's sponsors....
"They are writing the law so that it places them where they think they belong: above it," said Jason Catlett, head of Junkbusters Inc., an anti-spam group.
--Washington Post, 9/18/03