|Received:||4/16/2004 1:03:29 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Re: CAN-SPAM Act Rulemaking, Project No. R411008 To the Commissioners, I'm happy to see that you are taking action against the spammers. My email inbox is filled each day with more spam than with legitimate email from family, friends, or business associates. However, in considering this problem, I am also concerned about the suppression lists. My concern comes because I publish a small newsletter each week and email the publication to 2,000 subscribers who have requested my publication. I am concerned that the requirement to use suppression lists will seriously damage my list and seriously inhibit the ability to add others to the list who are interested in my publication. I require permission from the consumer before adding them to my list. My concern is if someone were to come to my web site and add their name to my list and then were to add their name to a suppression list, the consequences could potentially be catastrophic if I were to send email to them (even though they have given me permission to do so - but now claim they are on the suppression list and that I am in violation). How would you judge the intent of the consumer? Harm could be caused by suppression lists because of the difficulty of judging the consumer's intent when they subscribe or unsubscribe from an email list such as mine. Plus it would require a lot of time and effort for small publishers like myself to check my subscriber list against the suppression list each week before I send out my publication to subscribers (who, by the way have requested the publication). I believe that the requirement of the use of suppression lists will seriously damage many of the legitimate publications like mine available on the net. They're not who CAN-SPAM was designed to put out of business, but this requirement will very likely have that effect. Ironically, these suppression lists could very well fall into the hands of spammers as well, leading to more spam instead of less (since many spammers come from off-shore or from other countries - how would you enforce this?). It could be a nightmare for consumers on the suppression lists as well as for small publishers like myself. Please consider rules that make it fair for all. Why punish legitimate small businesses? Why drive them out of business in the name of going after the spammers! Consumers do already have some remedies at their disposal in combating spam (such as software programs that filter out spam or programs that require permission from the sender before the email is received by the recipient). I use "Mailwasher", for example, to get rid of spam and email viruses sent to me each day. This free program has proven effective - although I still have to read email "headers" to determine whether to accept their email or not. Sincerely yours, Ron Knowlton Kent, Washington U.S.A.