Anti-Spam Group Delivers E-Mails to FTC, Congress

A coalition of anti-spam companies and activists Thursday delivered a
database of 150,000 unsolicited commercial e-mail messages to Congressman Gary Miller, (R-CA), and the Federal Trade Commission.

Anti-spam activists gathered in Washington, D.C., in an effort to encourage
federal action to ban spam and unsolicited e-mail from the Internet and to
help the FTC track down and prosecute e-mail scams.

Congressman Miller was on hand to discuss the Can Spam Act, a bill he
introduced in June, that is designed to allow Internet service providers to
sue spammers for up to $25,000 a day when unsolicited commercial messages
sent through their systems.

Miller said that because the bill attacks the economics of spam, it is the
key to stopping distribution of unsolicited email through the Internet.

“The Can Spam Act is appealing because it offers a market based solution to
spamming,” Miller said. “It puts the power to control spam into the hands
of the Internet Service Provider and Internet consumers.”

The unsolicited e-mail messages were collected from netizen over the past
two months at the Spam Recycling
Center
. The SRC is an anti-spam effort sponsored by ChooseYourMail.com, the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial
Email,
the Forum for Responsible and
Ethical Email,
and SAFEeps.

Ian Oxman, ChooseYourMail.com president, said they support the Act because
consumers should not need to fear that computer viruses being spread
through their email or that their children may be lured to a pornographic
Web site.

“The spam problem is growing,” Oxman said. “Consumers shouldn’t have to
fear opening their email boxes and that is why we are supporting Rep. Gary
Miller’s Can Spam Act.”

ChooseYourMail’s preliminary analysis of the SRC spam database indicates
that 30 percent of the unsolicited emails collected promoted pornographic
Web sites. Another 30 percent of the e-mails were dubious moneymaking
proposals including.

John Mozena, CAUCE co-founder and vice president, said that many
money-making schemes promoted spamming as the means to get right on the
Internet.

“Not only is spam damaging the Internet infrastructure, but it’s clearly a
favorite advertising vehicle for sleazy and abusive businesspeople,” Mozena
said. “It’s the new favorite tool of those who abuse and defraud consumers.”

Mickey Chandler, FREE president, said that Internet users were fed up with
spam and that the federal legislation would retain email users right to
privacy.

“The sheer number of unsolicited bulk e-mails deposited with the SRC makes
it clear that users are fed up with spam,” Chandler said. “Strong and
effective anti-spam legislation is the best way to empower these users.”

Since it debuted in May, the Spam Recycling Center Web site has offered the
general public a way to participate in the fight against spam. The center
handles an average of 2,000 reported spam mailings each day.

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