Is Spam Really Illegal?
Spam is one of the most annoying things about using the internet. Lots of people think that it's annoying but don't realize that it can actually be illegal. There are lots of people suggesting that spam is illegal but if it is, then why are there so many unsolicited messages still being sent? Is it that people simply don't care about these laws?
Anti Spam Laws
In 2003 the Can-Spam act was signed in the United States. This was an 80 page document which defined exactly what spam was and went as far as making spam illegal.
Spam is actually illegal but many people are still receiving messages because people don't care about the laws, and also because not all of these messages are technically spam. The act sets up a list of guidelines which should be followed when sending emails. This includes not having misleading information in the header information.
If you are sending out a commercial email then you must by law include your postal address so that people can contact you if required.
Spam is actually unsolicited email and this means that people are still allowed to send out junk email that you have requested. If you put your name on a mailing list then this doesn't count as spam. It's very easy to get added onto mailing lists and as a result you probably have lots of newsletters in your mailbox right now.
Whenever you sign up for anything on the internet there is a box to say whether or not you want to receive communication from them. If you agree then that company is allowed to send you emails. This is not spam because they have already asked permission to contact you. It's important that you read everything you do on the internet.
However, even these newsletters that you have requested must have opt-out links in them somewhere. These links are used to take your name off the mailing list so that you can stop receiving the email at any time. To be in compliance of the laws these links must appear in the emails and be accessible.
The Can-Spam act laid out a number of consequences for anyone found guilty of sending spam emails. This can even get you in prison in some cases. The act allows up to $11,000 in fines per email sent which should go a long way to stop the problem. The act is normally only used against the most notorious spammers although it can be enforced against anyone.
Spam is one of the most annoying things on the internet and it's about time that we put an end to it.