|Received:||4/17/2004 4:09:24 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
Re: CAN-SPAM Act Rulemaking, Project No. R411008 To the Commissioners, I am glad to see you addressing the problem of unsolicited bulk email. However, I don't understand the proposed requirement for merchants to maintain suppression lists. The costs associated with this idea, and the potential for damage done to consumers and especially businesses, make me feel I must urge you to consider this with common practical sense, not legal wrangling. Specifically, I ask you, Why not go after the bad guys? Your proposed regulations seem to be aimed at putting an end to small home business folks, instead of stopping the porn and drug sites from clogging up the works. Don't you get it? The problem is structural and technical. The practices and practitioners that CAN-SPAM was designed to put a stop to are not being addressed. It appears that legitimate business, out of Political Correctness, will pay a heavy price just so it looks like something is being done. That may not be the intent, but this requirement will very likely have that effect. The potential is for significant harm to consumers, because of the problem of properly knowing their intent when they unsubscribe from a list. What's that all about? Here's a vital clue: Those suppression lists could easily fall into the hands of spammers, leading to more spam instead of less. How and when will that be dealt with, after the fact? The potential problems this ruling could involve are enormous, and I urge you in the strongest possible terms to reconsider implementation in light of these problems. Perhaps if you focus your efforts on the REAL dilemma, which I see as tracking down the obvious abuses by the porn and overseas drugs pushers, you will find the solution. Please don't put me and many other home based entrepreneurs out of business. Basic economics tells you that we are the real strength in the tax base. Why would anyone want to turn off the money stream? One final thought, there is a posssible technical solution that may be useful. It involves a restructuring of the email format, requiring digital signatures for all email senders, coupled with readily available encryption protocols. This would certainly be less costly, and perhaps END the spam. Is that within the range of your authority? Respectfully, James Vowles Baltimore, MD Question D.1: Definition of "aggravated violation" could also include the piggyback pop-ups used by porn sites and others that reload continually after you close the windows. Question E1.2: There are no practical ways to require 100 % compliance. Look for intent. Is there willful ignoring of the request? That is the relevant issue.