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Note:  Provisions of many of the following state laws may be pre-empted by the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.


Alabama

The State of Alabama has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


Alaska

Alaska enacted a law in May 2003 that requires a label ("ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line of any sexually explicit unsolicited commercial e-mail message, if the sender knows that the recipient is an Alaska resident.


Arizona

An Arizona law enacted in May 2003 requires that unsolicited commercial e-mail messages include a label ("ADV:") at the beginning of the subject line, and contain an opt-out mechanism. Such messages may not contain falsified routing information. The law prohibits false or misleading subject lines in all commercial e-mail, and prohibits the use of a third party's Internet address or domain name without consent in order to make it appear that the third party sent the message. The law applies if a message is sent from within Arizona, or if the recipient's service provider is based in or has equipment in Arizona, or if the sender knows or has reason to know that the recipient is an Arizona resident.


Arkansas

Under Arkansas laws enacted in April 2001 and April 2003, all commercial and sexually explicit e-mail messages must include a functioning reply e-mail address and opt-out instructions; opt-out requests must be honored. Unsolicited sexually explicit messages must also contain a label ("ADV:ADULT") at the beginning of the subject line. In addition, unsolicited commercial and sexually explicit messages must include the sender's name, physical address, and domain name, and may not use a third party's domain name without permission, nor misrepresent the point of origin or routing information. It is illegal to distribute software designed to falsify routing information.


California

In September 2003, legislation was approved in California that made it the second state (after Delaware) to adopt an opt-in rule for e-mail advertising. Under this legislation, it is illegal to send unsolicited commercial e-mail from California or to a California e-mail address. The law applies to senders as well as to advertisers on whose behalf messages are sent. It also includes less restrictive rules from which the broad prohibition may be severed in the event that it is struck as unconstitutional. (California's prior law, approved in September 1998, required opt-out disclosures and subject-line labels.)


Colorado

The Colorado Junk Email Law, enacted in June 2000, prohibits the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail that uses a third party's Internet address or domain name without permission, or contains false or missing routing information. Unsolicited commercial e-mail messages must contain a label ("ADV:") at the beginning of the subject line, and must include the sender's e-mail address and opt-out instructions; opt-out requests must be honored. The law applies to e-mail that is sent to Colorado residents via a provider's service or equipment located in Colorado.


Connecticut

A Connecticut law enacted in June 1999 makes it illegal to send unsolicited bulk e-mail containing falsified routing information in violation of a provider's policies, or to distribute software designed to falsify routing information. A court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident who uses a computer or computer network located in Connecticut. Another law, enacted in June 2003, provides that unsolicited commercial e-mail messages must contain a label ("ADV") at the beginning of the subject line, and must include the sender's e-mail address and opt-out instructions; opt-out requests must be honored.


Delaware

Under legislation approved in July 1999, it is illegal to send unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail, to send unsolicited bulk e-mail containing falsified routing information, or to distribute software designed to falsify routing information. The law applies to messages originating outside the state if the recipient is located in Delaware and the sender is aware of facts making the recipient's presence in Delaware a reasonable possibility.


Florida

A Florida statute enacted in May 2004 prohibits unsolicited commercial e-mail messages that use a third party's domain name without permission, or contain false or missing routing information; the prohibition applies to messages sent from a computer in Florida as well as messages sent to a Florida resident's e-mail address. The law also prohibits the distribution of software designed to falsify routing information. In addition, a Florida bar rule (Fla. R.P.C. 4-7.6(c)(3)) requires attorneys who advertise via unsolicited e-mail to put "legal advertisement" in the subject line.


Georgia

The Georgia Slam Spam E-mail Act, enacted in April 2005, makes it a crime to send commercial e-mail that contains false or misleading header or routing information (not including the subject line), or that falsely represents that it is not an unsolicited message. If such messages are sent in bulk, the offense is a felony.


Hawaii

The State of Hawaii has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


Idaho

A law approved in April 2000 requires that unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail messages must include an e-mail address for opt-out requests and requires senders to honor opt-out requests. Such messages may not use a third party's name for the return address without permission, and must contain accurate routing information.


Illinois

Legislation approved in July 1999 makes it illegal to send an unsolicited commercial e-mail message using a third party's domain name without permission; containing falsified routing information; or with a false or misleading subject line. The law was amended in July 2003 to require inclusion of the sender's valid reply e-mail address or toll-free telephone number for opt-out requests, along with a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line. The law applies to e-mail that is delivered to an Illinois resident via a provider's facilities located in Illinois. A separate provision makes it illegal to send unsolicited bulk e-mail with falsified routing information or to distribute software designed to falsify routing information.


Indiana

An Indiana law approved in April 2003 prohibits commercial e-mail that uses a third party's domain name without permission, includes a false or misleading subject line, or misrepresents its point of origin or other routing information. Unsolicited commercial e-mail messages must include a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line, along with opt-out instructions. The law applies to messages sent from outside Indiana if the sender knows that the recipient is an Indiana resident, or if that information is available upon request from the registrant of the domain name contained in the recipient's e-mail address.


Iowa

An Iowa law approved in May 1999 prohibits the sending of unsolicited bulk e-mail that uses a third party's name for the return address without permission, or contains false or missing routing information. Unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail messages must include opt-out instructions and contact information, and opt-out requests must be honored. The law applies to e-mail that is sent to or through a computer network located in Iowa.


Kansas

Under a Kansas law enacted in May 2002, commercial e-mail messages may not contain falsified routing information, use a third party's domain name without permission, or have a false or misleading subject line. Senders of commercial e-mail messages must include opt-out instructions and honor opt-out requests. Unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail messages (500 or more recipients) and advertisements for sexually explicit content must contain a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line. The law applies if a message is sent from within Kansas, or if the sender knows that the recipient is a Kansas resident. The law also prohibits the distribution of software designed to falsify routing information.


Kentucky

Kentucky has not enacted spam legislation. A Kentucky court rule (Ky. Sup. Ct. R. 3.130(7.09)(3)) requires attorneys who advertise via written, recorded, or electronic communication targeted at potential clients to include the words "THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT" prominently in each communication.


Louisiana

A criminal statute approved in July 1999 makes it illegal to send unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail to more than 1,000 recipients if the e-mail messages contain falsified routing information or the sender uses a provider's facilities to transmit the messages in violation of the provider's policies. The law also prohibits the distribution of software designed to falsify routing information. In July 2003 Louisiana amended its commercial law to include provisions applicable to all unsolicited commercial e-mail. Such messages must have a label ("ADV:") at the beginning of the subject line, and include a valid reply address and opt-out instructions; the sender must also maintain a functioning website for opt-out requests.

Under a provision added to Louisiana's obscenity law in June 2003, commercial e-mail messages with sexually explicit content must include the characters "ADV-ADULT" at the beginning of the subject line. A separate statute approved in July 2003 provides that unsolicited commercial e-mail messages with obscene content must include "ADV:ADLT" at the beginning of the subject line.

Louisiana bar rules require attorneys who advertise via unsolicited e-mail targeted at potential clients to use a subject line that states "This is an advertisement for legal services."


Maine

Maine enacted legislation in May 2003 that requires unsolicited commercial e-mail to contain a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line, and include the sender's name and valid e-mail address and opt-out instructions; opt-out requests must be honored. Such messages may not use a third party's Internet address or domain name without permission, nor contain falsified routing information. The law applies to messages sent to two or more recipients within the state.


Maryland

Under a Maryland consumer protection law enacted in May 2002, it is illegal to send a commercial e-mail message that uses a third party's domain name without permission; that contains false or missing routing information; or with a false or misleading subject line. The law applies if a message is sent from within Maryland; if the sender knows that the recipient is a Maryland resident; or if the registrant of the domain name contained in the recipient's address will confirm upon request that the recipient is a Maryland resident.

Under the Spam Deterrence Act approved in May 2004, it is a misdemeanor to send unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail messages while misrepresenting the point of origin or other routing information, or to transmit such messages from or through a computer without authorization.


Massachusetts

The State of Massachusetts has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


Michigan

Unsolicited commercial e-mail messages must include the sender's legal name, street address, domain name, and valid return e-mail address, along with an opt-out mechanism; a label ("ADV:") must appear at the beginning of the subject line. These provisions apply if a message is sent through an e-mail service provider that the sender knows or should know is located in Michigan, or to an e-mail address that the sender knows or should know is held by a Michigan resident. In addition, unsolicited commercial e-mail messages sent through Michigan providers or to Michigan residents may not misstate the point or origin or routing information. The law also prohibits the distribution and possession of software designed to falsify routing information.


Minnesota

A Minnesota law enacted in May 2002 prohibited commercial e-mail that uses a third party's domain name without permission, contains false routing information; or has a false or misleading subject line. Such messages were required to contain opt-out instructions and contact information. Unsolicited commercial e-mail messages were required to contain a label ("ADV:" or "ADV-ADULT") at the beginning of the subject line. The law applied to messages sent to Minnesota residents through facilities located in Minnesota. The law expired by its own terms when the federal CAN-SPAM Act took effect.


Mississippi

The State of Mississippi has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


Missouri

A Missouri law enacted in June 2000 requires unsolicited commercial e-mail messages to contain opt-out instructions and contact information. Additional provisions enacted in July 2003 prohibit false or misleading subject lines, require a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line, and require senders to honor opt-out requests.


Montana

The State of Montana has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


Nebraska

The State of Nebraska has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


Nevada

In July 1997 Nevada became the first state to enact spam legislation. As amended in 2001 and 2003, Nevada law provides that it is illegal to send unsolicited commercial e-mail unless it is labeled "ADV" or "ADVERTISEMENT" at the beginning of the subject line, and includes the sender's name, street address, and e-mail address, along with opt-out instructions. Nevada law prohibits all unsolicited e-mail that contains falsified routing information; that is sent with the intent to disrupt the normal operation or use of a computer, Internet site, or e-mail address; or that is reasonably likely to cause such disruption. The state also prohibits the distribution of software that is designed to falsify routing information.


New Hampshire

The State of New Hampshire has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


New Jersey

The State of New Jersey has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


New Mexico

New Mexico enacted legislation in April 2003 requiring that unsolicited commercial e-mail messages contain a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line, and opt-out instructions at the top of the message body.


New York

The State of New York has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


North Carolina

Legislation approved in June 1999 makes it illegal to send unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail containing falsified routing information, if the sender thereby violates a provider's policies. The law applies to e-mail sent into or within the state.


North Dakota

A North Dakota law enacted in April 2003 prohibited the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail messages that contain a false or misleading subject line, use a third party's domain name without permission, or misrepresent the point of origin or routing information. The law required all commercial e-mail messages to include an opt-out mechanism. In addition, unsolicited commercial messages were required to contain a label ("ADV" or "ADV-ADULT") at the beginning of the subject line. The law applied to messages sent from outside the state if the sender knows that the recipient is a North Dakota resident, or if that information is available upon request from the registrant of the domain name contained in the recipient's e-mail address. The law included a contingent expiration date provision, rendering it ineffective following enactment of the federal CAN-SPAM Act.


Ohio

An Ohio law approved in August 2002 requires unsolicited commercial e-mail messages to contain the sender's name, address, and e-mail address, along with opt-out instructions, and requires senders to honor out-out requests; these requirements do not apply to messages sent based upon a "direct referral" from another person. It is illegal to forge the sender's address or other routing information in commercial e-mail messages. The law also enables a provider to sue a sender of commercial e-mail for violating the provider's policies if (1) the sender had actual notice of such policies, or (2) the policies were posted on the provider's web site and were communicated electronically to the sender's computer. Under a separate law effective in May 2005, it is a felony to falsify the point of origin or routing information in unsolicited commercial e-mail.


Oklahoma

An Oklahoma law approved in June 1999 and amended in April 2003 makes it illegal to send an e-mail message that contains false or missing routing information, or to distribute software designed to falsify such information. Unsolicited commercial e-mail messages must include a label ("ADV:" or "ADV-ADULT:") at the beginning of the subject line, and must contain opt-out instructions. Such messages may not contain a false or misleading subject line, nor use a third party's Internet address or domain name in order to make it appear that the third party sent the message. A court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident who sends a message to or through the network of a provider located in Oklahoma.


Oregon

Oregon approved temporary legislation in September 2003, effective until January 2, 2006. The law requires a label ("ADV:") at the beginning of the subject line of unsolicited commercial e-mail, and prohibits all commercial e-mail that uses a third party's domain name without permission or contains a false or misleading subject line, point of origin, or routing information.


Pennsylvania

Under Pennsylvania laws approved in June 2000 and December 2002, unsolicited commercial e-mail may not use a third party's domain name without permission or include a false or misleading subject line, and must include a valid reply address and an opt-out mechanism. Sexually explicit unsolicited commercial e-mail must contain a label ("ADV-ADULT") at the beginning of the subject line. In addition, falsification of routing information in unsolicited e-mail is unlawful, as is the distribution of software designed to facilitate falsification of routing information.


Rhode Island

Under legislation approved in July 1999, it is illegal to send unsolicited bulk e-mail with falsified routing information using a Rhode Island provider in violation of the provider's policies, or to distribute software designed to falsify routing information. A separate law requires unsolicited commercial e-mail messages to include opt-out instructions and contact information, and opt-out requests must be honored; it is illegal to send unsolicited commercial e-mail using a third party's domain name without permission or containing false routing information. This law applies to messages sent from a computer located in Rhode Island and to messages sent into the state, if the sender had reason to know that the recipient was a Rhode Island resident or the recipient had previously submitted an opt-out request to the sender.


South Carolina

The State of South Carolina has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


South Dakota

Legislation approved in February 2002 prohibits sending commercial e-mail that misrepresents or obscures its point of origin or routing information, or contains a false or misleading subject line. The law applies if a message is sent from within South Dakota; if the sender knows that the recipient is a South Dakota resident; or if the registrant of the domain name contained in the recipient's address will confirm upon request that the recipient is a South Dakota resident. Unsolicited commercial e-mail messages must contain a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line.


Tennessee

Under legislation approved in June 1999, unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail messages must include opt-out instructions and contact information, and opt-out requests must be honored. Certain messages must contain a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADLT") at the beginning of the subject line. The law applies to e-mail that is delivered to a Tennessee resident via a provider's facilities located in Tennessee. The distribution of software designed to falsify routing information is also prohibited. (Use "without authority" is defined to include sending unsolicited bulk e-mail in violation of a provider's policies, although the statute does not provide any consequences for such use.) A separate law enacted in June 2003 makes it a criminal offense to falsify routing information in unsolicited bulk e-mail.


Texas

Texas enacted legislation in June 2003 requiring that unsolicited commercial e-mail messages include a label ("ADV:" or "ADV: ADULT ADVERTISEMENT") at the beginning of the subject line, and a functioning return e-mail address for opt-out requests, which must be honored. The law prohibits unsolicited commercial messages with falsified routing information. False, deceptive, or misleading subject lines are prohibited in all commercial e-mail messages, as is the unauthorized use of a third party's domain name.


Utah

The State of Utah does not have legislation currently in force relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail. A law enacted in March 2002 and repealed effective in May 2004 applied to unsolicited commercial e-mail and unsolicited sexually explicit e-mail sent through a provider in Utah or to a resident of Utah. Such messages were required to disclose the sender's name and physical address, and the point of origin of the message; and had to include a label ("ADV:" or "ADV:ADULT") at the beginning of the subject line, along with opt-out instructions. The law also prohibited the falsification of routing information in such messages.


Vermont

The State of Vermont has not enacted legislation relating to unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


Virginia

Legislation approved in March 1999 makes it illegal to send unsolicited bulk e-mail containing falsified routing information, if the sender thereby violates a provider's policies, or to distribute software designed to falsify routing information. A court may exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident who uses a computer or computer network located in Virginia. The law was amended in April 2003 to increase the penalties for sending a high volume of messages containing falsified routing information.


Washington

Under a Washington state law enacted in March 1998 and amended in May 1999, it is illegal to send a commercial e-mail message that uses a third party's domain name without permission; that contains false or missing routing information; or with a false or misleading subject line. The law applies if a message is sent from within Washington; if the sender knows that the recipient is a Washington resident; or if the registrant of the domain name contained in the recipient's address will confirm upon request that the recipient is a Washington resident.


West Virginia

A law enacted in March of 1999 makes it illegal to send unsolicited bulk e-mail messages in violation of a provider's policies that use a third party's domain name without permission, misrepresent the point of origin or other routing information, have a false or misleading subject line, or contain sexually explicit materials. Each message must include the sender's name and return e-mail address, along with the date and time it was sent. It is also illegal to distribute software designed to falsify routing information. The law applies if a message is sent from a computer located in West Virginia, or if the sender knows or has reason to know that the recipient is a resident of West Virginia.


Wisconsin

In June 2001 Wisconsin enacted a statute that requires unsolicited commercial e-mail messages that contain obscene material or depict sexually explicit conduct to include the words "ADULT ADVERTISEMENT" in the subject line. A separate Wisconsin statute prohibits e-mail harassment (Wis. Stat. § 947.0125), but does not appear to apply to most unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail.


Wyoming

A Wyoming law approved in March 2003 (effective July 1, 2003) prohibits commercial e-mail that uses a third party's domain name without permission, includes a false or misleading subject line, or misrepresents its point of origin or other routing information. It is unlawful to assist in the transmission of such messages, which apparently includes operating an open relay. The law applies to messages sent from outside Wyoming if the sender knows that the recipient is a resident of Wyoming or a jurisdiction with a similar law, or if that information is available upon request from the registrant of the domain name contained in the recipient's e-mail address.

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Identity theft comes in many forms.

A person\92s identity can be 'borrowed' for the purpose of creating fictional credit cards or a person\92s entire identity can be usurped to the point where they can have difficulty proving that they really are who they claim to be.

Up to 18% of identity theft victims take as long as four years to realize that their identity has been stolen.

There are many ways to protect your personal identity and many steps you can take to prevent your identity from being stolen:

*Never give out unnecessary personal information
*Never provide bank details or social security numbers over the Internet
*Always remain aware of who is standing behind you when you type in your personal credit codes at ATM machines and at supermarket checkout swipe machines.