California Outlaws Spam


California has taken a tough stand against spam E-mail. On Sept. 24, Gov. Gray Davis signed a law prohibiting anyone from sending unsolicited commercial E-mail advertisements to a California E-mail address.

The law sets up an “opt-in” requirement, the aim being to prevent E-mail users from getting E-mail advertisements unless they asked to be on the sender’s list.

Senders of unsolicited messages could be held liable for damages up to $1,000 for each message to an individual and up to $1 million for each E-mail advertisement sent out.

The recipient, the state attorney general or the E-mail service provider could seek damages.

The law also bans sending spam from California and prohibits the collection of E-mail addresses or registering multiple E-mail addresses for the purpose of sending spam. It passed the state Senate on Sept. 11 as Senate Bill 186.

Another bill, Senate Bill 12, which proponents said would have allowed Internet service providers to be held liable for spam, died in a state Assembly committee in July.

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