Several spam-related bills were introduced in the 106th Congress, but none were enacted. One bill, the Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act of 2000 (H.R. 3113), was passed by the House of Representatives; it was reintroduced as H.R. 95 in the 107th Congress.

(Please read this note if you were referred to this web site by an unsolicited advertisement that you received via electronic mail.)


Unenacted bills:

Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act of 2000 (H.R. 3113)

H.R. 3113 would require unsolicited commercial e-mail messages to be labelled and to include opt-out instructions, and would prohibit false routing information in such messages. It would prohibit the use of a provider's facilities to send unsolicited commercial e-mail in violation of the provider's policies, if the policies are clearly posted on a web site at the domain name included in the recipient's e-mail address or are made available by an FTC-approved standard method (presumably, via the provider's SMTP server).

Originally introduced by Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) on October 20, 1999, with many co-sponsors (including Rep. Gene Green, sponsor of the E-Mail User Protection Act, H.R. 1910), this bill was amended in committee on March 23 and June 14, 2000, and now incorporates aspects of Rep. Gary Miller's Can Spam Act, H.R. 2162. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 3113 on July 18, 2000; it is now under consideration by the Senate.

The current version of H.R. 3113 requires "clear and conspicuous" identification of messages as unsolicited commercial e-mail, but unlike the previous version of the bill it would not require senders to use a standardized format for such labels. The original version of the bill would have required senders of unsolicited commercial or "pandering" e-mail messages to purchase an FCC-maintained exclusion list of people who did not want to receive such messages, and all unsolicited messages would have been required to include a valid reply address for opt-out requests. Providers could sue for violations of their policies on unsolicited commercial e-mail, but only after actual notice and a specific request for compliance.


Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2000 (S. 2542)

A companion bill to the Unsolicited Electronic Mail Act of 2000 (H.R. 3113), the "CAN SPAM" Act of 2000 was introduced by Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) on May 11, 2000. It would require senders of unsolicited bulk commercial e-mail messages to provide opt-out instructions and to honor opt-out requests. It would prohibit the use of false routing information in unsolicited commercial messages, and would prohibit the sale or distribution of software designed to falsify routing information.


Can Spam Act (H.R. 2162)

The Can Spam Act, introduced by Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) on June 10, 1999, would prohibit using a provider's facilities to send unsolicited commercial e-mail in violation of the provider's policies, if the policies are clearly posted on a web site at the domain name included in the recipient's e-mail address or are referred to in the initial banner message displayed by the provider's SMTP server. The law also would impose criminal penalties for the unauthorized use of a third party's domain name in sending e-mail messages if it results in damage to a computer or network. State laws concerning unsolicited commercial e-mail would be pre-empted.


E-Mail User Protection Act (H.R. 1910)

The E-Mail User Protection Act, introduced by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) on May 24, 1999, would make it illegal to send unsolicited bulk e-mail with a false sender's name, e-mail address, telephone number, Internet domain, or other routing information, or to distribute software designed to falsify routing information. Senders of unsolicited bulk e-mail would be required to honor opt-out requests.


Inbox Privacy Act of 1999 (S. 759)

The Inbox Privacy Act of 1999, introduced by Sen. Frank H. Murkowski (R-AK) on March 25, 1999, would require unsolicited commercial e-mail messages to include the sender's name, physical address, e-mail address, and telephone number, along with accurate routing information and opt-out instructions; senders would be required to honor opt-out requests. Owners of domain names could opt-out all addresses within a domain by registering with the FTC, although ISPs would be required to let individual customers continue receiving unsolicited e-mail at their option and to maintain and publish a list of such customers. The FTC would have rulemaking and enforcement authority; states and individual Internet providers would also be able to bring civil actions under the law. State laws concerning commercial e-mail would be pre-empted.


Internet Freedom Act (H.R. 1686)

The Internet Freedom Act, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on May 5, 1999, would prohibit sending unsolicited bulk e-mail with a falsified originating e-mail address, domain name, or other routing information, or to distribute software designed to falsify routing information. The bill also contains provisions that concern broadband Internet access and related services.


Internet Growth and Development Act of 1999 (H.R. 1685)

The Internet Growth and Development Act of 1999, introduced by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) on May 5, 1999, would make it illegal to use a provider's facilities to send unsolicited commercial e-mail to the provider's subscribers in violation of the provider's policies. A provider could sue a sender for such violations, but only if the sender had actual notice of the policies. The bill would also make it illegal to send unsolicited bulk e-mail with a false domain name, return address, or other header information, or to distribute software designed to falsify routing information. Other provisions of the bill relate to electronic signatures, broadband Internet access, and online privacy.


Netizens Protection Act of 1999 (H.R. 3024)

The Netizens Protection Act of 1999, introduced by Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) on October 5, 1999, would require all unsolicited e-mail messages to contain the sender's name, physical address, and e-mail address, along with opt-out instructions. False or misleading subject lines would be prohibited on unsolicited bulk e-mail messages. These requirements would not pre-empt state laws governing unsolicited commercial e-mail. Internet providers would be required to notify their customers of their policies on unsolicited e-mail, and would be able to sue customers for violations.


Protection Against Scams on Seniors Act of 1999 (H.R. 612)
Telemarketing Fraud and Seniors Protection Act (S. 699)

These companion bills were introduced by Rep. Robert A. Weygand (D-RI) on February 4, 1999, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) on March 24, 1999. They include a provision authorizing the FTC to regulate advertising that uses the Internet, including the "initiation, transmission, and receipt" of unsolicited commercial e-mail.


Wireless Telephone Spam Protection Act (H.R. 5300)

The Wireless Telephone Spam Protection Act, introduced in September 2000, would the prohibit use of wireless messaging systems to send unsolicited advertisements.

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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.