|Received:||3/30/2004 11:05:54 PM|
|Organization:||J&B Data Services|
|Commenter:||W J Flor|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
From my perspective as an end-user (small computer-related consulting company relying heavily on electronic communication), the CAN-SPAM act has not accomplished much so far, and the severe and growing negative impact on legitimate communication via e-mail is not being abated. There was initially a temporary lull of sorts in the SPAM volume for a week or two, but over the past month, if anything the volume of SPAM has gotten worse, and the effectiveness of the current commercial spam filters (at the same settings as previously) has been noticeably reduced, apparently by new schemes on the part of the spammers to circumvent screening algorithms. I don't believe we will find a single "silver bullet" to fix spam easily or quickly, but the anti-SPAM effort must be mounted on a number of fronts or risk severe consequences to electronic communication. I am a strong supporter of a National Do Not Email Registry. However, that tool would be only one of a number which need to be in the tool box. Aggressive and public prosecution is another tool, but that too is limited by it's lack of ability to reach the most egregious off-shore sources. Requiring validation of a sender's e-mail address prior to transmission could be another tool (even though that might come with some speed penalty). Aggressive anti-virus/worm/malware technology (and prosecution) is also a must-have in the tool box, especially as some of the most annoying of recent ones are in fact their own powerful mini-SPAM-engines as well, occupying and incapacitating large chunks of bandwidth. Some of the largest Internet Service Providers must also be encouraged (required?) to tighten their systems (e.g., MSN, AOL, Earthlink, etc.), so that their systems cannot be hijacked by the SPAMmers to relay their messages.