Senate Approves CAN SPAM Act

The U.S. Senate Tuesday gave final approval to the CAN SPAM Act, following last weekend's overwhelming vote on the landmark federal anti-spam bill by the U.S. House of Representatives. If signed into law by President Bush, the legislation would mark the first national attempt to put a crimp on junk mail. The bill, which would override all existing state anti-spam laws, puts numerous restrictions on the marketing e-mail messages companies can send to users, levies fines and jail terms for offenders, and instructs the Federal Trade Commission to report to Congress on a plan to create a 'do-not-spam' list, one similar to the that recently put into place by the FTC which prevents telemarketers from calling consumers who have added their names and phone numbers to the list.

Originally, the Senate passed its own version of the 'CAN SPAM Act' in late October by a vote of 97-0, but differences abounded between the two pieces of legislation. After the House moved on its version Saturday by a vote of 397-5, Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mt.), one of the two co-authors of the Senate edition, applauded the House. "We have all seen the negative impacts of spam and know that the toxic sea of spam threatens to engulf the very medium of email. The passage of CAN-SPAM will help to stem the tide of this digital dreck," he said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the Senate gave final approval to the CAN SPAM Act, acceding to the House's version in several areas. "We passed our version of the bill by unanimous approval, with changes, after discussions with the House," said Jennifer O'Shea, a spokeswoman for Senator Burns. "It was amended slightly, some technical changes were made, and then it was passed back to the House."

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News source: CRN

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