16 CFR Part 316; CAN-SPAM Rule: Rule Review; Request for Public Comments; Project No. R711010
This law needs to be strengthened, not weakened. Spam is a menace that is irritating at best, and dangerous (containing malware) at worst. It enables people to purchase dubious pharmaceutical drugs from outside the country which aren't subject to our quality controls, and it requires IT departments to invest heavily in cybersecurity. This law is a good start, but it has done very little to prevent malicious spammers, and the legitimate commercial senders comply with it as minimally as possible, and re-add people to their lists without their consent. Here are the specific changes I would recommend: -Keep the easy opt-out/unsubscribe provisions, but reduce the amount of time. 10 business days is indefensible from a practical standpoint - there is no reason why it should possibly take this long to remove an email address from a database. Lobby groups that seek to keep or lengthen this margin simply want to be able to continue sending unsolicited commercial marketing materials to people who have explicitly stated that they do not wish to receive them, which removes any First Amendment considerations and places this squarely in the realm of harassment. -Preempting states from implementing harsher laws against spam is ludicrous. This is an unnecessary federal overreach. Allow the states to prosecute spam more stringently if they wish to do so. -Make newsletters and advertisements opt-in rather than opt-out, or alternately, require unsolicited commercial emails to include a word or phrase in the send line that indicates that the email is an advertisement.