Spam slayer: laws won't solve everything

Tuesday, 11 November 2003, 3:06 PM EST

If you thought promising new antispam laws mean you can ditch your spam-filtering software sometime soon, think again.

Come January, the nation's toughest antispam law takes effect in California, affecting e-mail marketers in all 50 states and doling out fines of up to $1 million to guilty spammers. At the federal level, the Senate unanimously passed the CAN-SPAM Act, which still needs House approval to become law. That promising bill also endorses a do-not-spam list modeled after the wildly popular do-not-call registry.

It all sounds great. The only problem is both laws won't stop the worst offenders, and law-abiding companies could get hurt. That's bad news for spam haters, especially considering a recent estimate by antispam firm Solid Oak Software that 90 percent of e-mail is "illegitimate."

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