Anti-spam proposals get tougher

Tuesday, 17 June 2003, 9:41 AM EST

A bipartisan group of legislators and some citizen groups, concerned that current legislative proposals to combat e-mail spam are inadequate, are engaged in a major push for tougher alternatives.

The moves come amid intensified lobbying and political maneuvering over the issue. With outrage over spam at fever pitch, Congress is widely expected to pass the first national anti-spam law this year.

In the House, a new bill is likely to be introduced this week that its sponsors promise is tougher than legislation offered last month by Reps. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.) and F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.). Although Tauzin and Sensenbrenner head the two House committees that any spam legislation must pass through, their bill was widely criticized by anti-spam activists after revelations that lobbyists from the marketing, retailing and Internet-provider industries helped craft it.

The new bill, by Reps. Heather A. Wilson (R-N.M.) and Gene Green (D-Tex.), contains broader enforcement powers for federal and state authorities, tighter restrictions on marketers and an anti-pornography provision, according to a draft obtained by The Washington Post.

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