Do Not Call List Sparks Call for Similar Spam Plan

Consumers flocking to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) new site overwhelmingly support the idea of a similar Do Not Spam list, according to a survey by online research firm InsightExpress.

The survey of 300 consumers who have signed up to have telemarketing calls blocked found that more than 8 in 10 respondents stated they wanted to see the government create the same sort of device to prevent unsolicited commercial e-mail from reaching their mailboxes.

According to the respondents, spam is a bigger nuisance than telemarketing intrusions as, on average, consumers report receiving 16 times more spam than they do telemarketing calls.

“Spam and unsolicited e-mail are just as bad as the telemarketers, taking my time away from me. Not only is it mostly information that I cannot use, it is also a potential hazard to my computer system,” said one respondent.

Despite the fact that more than one third of consumers are already using a spam blocking service or spam software, 68 percent of consumers believe spam is as much or more of an issue than telemarketing calls.

“I receive approximately 40 spam e-mails per day. This is after blocking many addresses and reporting much of the spam.,” another survey respondent stated.

The survey results should come as good news for U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D.N.Y.), who is sponsoring legislation for the FTC to create a Do Not Spam registry.

In a nod to Schumer’s proposal, the Senate Commerce Committee included in its Can Spam Act (S. 877) that it approved earlier this month a mandate for the FTC to submit to Congress recommendations for a workable plan and timetable for creating a national list of consumers who want to opt out of all unsolicited commercial e-mails.

FTC Commissioner Mozelle W. Thompson, however, recently told, “I think spam is different than do-not-call. The telephone is point-to-point. E-mail identification, routing — the difference is huge. I’m not sure how practical it would be.”

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