FTC Claims CAN-SPAM Act Works

The Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday that the CAN-SPAM Act has worked, and was effective in protecting consumers from unsolicited e-mail. The agency publicly released a report at a press conference in Washington that studied the effectiveness of the law.

Also announced were three new lawsuits against spam operators who were attempting to sell prescription medication, mortgage offers and a product called Fuel Saver Pro. According to the FTC, Microsoft has provided assistance in all three cases.

While CAN-SPAM may be effective in protecting consumers, studies from anti-spam companies still show a marked increase -- 62 percent -- in the amount of spam messages being sent.

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The law has given the government broader powers to combat spammers and take legal action against those who do not follow certain procedures for the sending of bulk e-mail. These procedures include a way for consumers to opt out of e-mails from the sender, as well as the sender's postal address being listed on the message.

It was hard to determine if these procedures were doing any good against spam, or rather it was technology that was helping to curb the flood of unsolicited e-mail, FTC director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection Lydia Parnes said.

Some believe the law needs to be tightened, and that consumers should opt-in to receive commercial e-mail rather than the current opt-out process. Others claim that the only groups that are concerned with compliance are those that actually are legitimate bulk e-mail companies, rather than the spammers themselves.

The FTC maintains that the law does not need to be changed.

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