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CAN-SPAM centralizes and makes some exceptions

January 27, 2004

In Can CAN-SPAM Can Spam?, Brady Johnson in TidBITS writes on the new federal anti-spam act. It is no surprise that the law is a massive act of nullification of state laws, "One heavily criticized component of the Act is the provision preempting all state laws addressing spam with certain very limited exceptions."

Also a few exceptions to this heroic federal effort to stop spam are included in the law, including (I'm shocked!) political spam: ...to many folks, "spam" simply refers to any unwanted email from a stranger trying to sell a product, tout a position, advertise a commercial Web site, or sway the reader's opinion in some way. As anti-spam legislation has been enacted in the various states, the definition has morphed and narrowed to "unwanted commercial email" or "UCE," exempting non-commercial email such as political or charitable solicitations. CAN-SPAM narrows this definition even further.

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