|Received:||4/2/2004 2:17:50 PM|
|Organization:||Montana State University Media Services|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Section D.1. Opt out links which are intentionally difficult to use should be a violation. This includes links to sites which lack the capacity to respond, links which load pages full of advertising, links which appear in an unreadable text format, links which are structured to mislead the recipient into clicking on the wrong spot, the extremely popular misspelled URL, and alternate methods of opting out, like sending a letter, a FAX or making a phone call. The opt-out should be as quick and easy as receiving the spam was in the first place, or spammers will be able to "comply" in a way that renders the law useless. There MUST be a way for the recipient to opt out of all future messages from the e-mail spamming company sending the spam, not just the company whose product is being represented in a specific message, or from messages about the specific product. If the consumer has to opt-out a hundred times each day from now until the end of time, the law has failed. "Compliance" by claiming that each new mailing is from a new company and therefore is immune to previous opt-out should be a violation. Spam which claims to be allowed because of a previous business relationship must clearly identify exactly what business relationship is being referred to in such a way that the recipient has no doubt about how the relationship began. (Every day I receive dozens of messages from people I have never heard of which include a line saying I am getting this message because I asked for it. I suspect they are lying, but how do I prove that if the fact that I ever did business with anyone implies that a connection might exist between me and the spammer.) Section E.1.2 - Both Yes answers should be correct. Allowing either loophole will promote spam. Section F.1. Please create a National Do Not Email Registry with very sharp teeth. If you pay me a penny for every violation I forward to you, I will have a nice supplemental income. Can you afford that? If you stop the spam, that is reward enough. The tech guys are betting that you can't enforce this thing. Find the worst spammers. Imprison them. Hire them. Make them show you how to make it work. People in the computer security business do this all the time. It is a tried and true method. Every spam should be required to contain a word in the subject line which clearly identifies itself as a commercial message. "ADV" would do it. If you could enforce that one, filtering software could do the rest and you folks could get back to all the good things you used to do.