|Received:||3/30/2004 4:09:43 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
The implementation of a National Do Not Email Registry would be a mistake. As a database repository, it is vulnerable. Once compromised, the addresses it contains can never be safe again. The unscrupulous emailers who create most of the SPAM would simply ignore such a list. The only people who would obey are legitimate marketers...and the potential for ruining this entire business segment is huge. Implementing a system for rewarding those who supply information about CAN-SPAM violations would be a mistake. Given the emotional hot-button that SPAM is, a witch hunt would ensue. Many techno-nerds would invest their idle hands into developing methods for artificially creating violations for legitimate emailers. An entire new genre of "mail bombing" would be created by this significant opportunity for mischief. Subject line labeling will create a great deal of workload associated with "hair splitting". Legitimate emailers use subject lines and sender addresses that adequately identify the message's purpose. Adding obligatory text to the subject line will only harm legitimate emailers, as it will reduce their effectiveness, and will be completely ignored by the unscrupulous emailers who cause SPAM. Let's focus all of our efforts on rules and laws that attack unscrupulous emailers and avoid those that attack legitimate emailers! Regarding question E.2.4, the answer should be, "No one". It would be ridiculous to hold the original sender accountable for managing opt-outs for all recipients who might happen to forward a message. That's just impossible. Similarly, it would be onerous to suggest that everyone who ever forwards a piece of email be responsible for managing opt-outs. We would be faced with only two methods for the latter: 1) making it the legal responsibility of every email RECIPIENT to fully understand exactly what kind of message they may forward without and which they may not forward without a personal opt-out method; and 2) making it the legal responsibility of every email RECIPIENT to offer a personal opt-out on every message they send.