For a law to take effect on the U.S. federal level, both the
House and the Senate must pass the bill and then the President
of the United States must sign the bill into law.
Last year we almost got a SPAM law on the books when House
legislators approved their version of the SPAM bill, H. R. 3113,
the “The Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2000″,
with a vote of 427-1.
However, it never came close to becoming law because the Senate
never even voted on it.
This year, there are already several attempts being made to
place SPAM under the law.
The most recognized is known as bill HR 95, which is a
re-introduction of H. R. 3113 from last year and is named: “To
protect individuals, families, and Internet service providers
from unsolicited and unwanted electronic mail.” http:/
A SUMMARY AS OF: 1/3/2001–Introduced.
“Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2001 – Amends the
Federal criminal code to provide criminal penalties for
intentionally initiating the transmission of any unsolicited
commercial electronic mail message (message) to a protected
computer in the United States with the knowledge that any domain
name or other initiator identifying information contained in or
accompanying such message is false or inaccurate.
Prohibits any person from sending such a message unless the
message contains a valid e-mail address, conspicuously
displayed, to which a recipient may send notice of a desire not
to receive further messages.
Makes it unlawful for a person to initiate the transmission of
such a message in violation of a policy regarding unsolicited
commercial e-mail messages that complies with specified
requirements, including requirements for notice and public
availability of such policy and for an opportunity for
subscribers to opt not receive such messages.
Directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to notify violators
under this Act, to prohibit further initiation of such messages,
and to require the initiator to delete the names and e-mail
addresses of the recipients and providers from all mailing
Provides a right of action by a recipient or provider against
e-mail initiators who violate the above requirements. ”
As bill HR 95 stands right now, it is not expected to pass vote
in the House for two reasons, even though the language of the
bill is exactly the same as that passed last year in a vote of
First, because of the language that allows for a one-time email
to be sent so long as a valid return email address is provided
by the sender and the sender removes anyone the so requests to
be removed from that mailing list.
Although this is the same exact language that was included in
the bill that passed the House last year, many SPAM fanatics are
raising objections to its’ inclusion in the bill this year.
Second, is the language in the last paragraph that would allow a
“right of action by a recipient or provider”, the problem being
that the law would allow Internet Service Providers, ISP’s, to
file for monetary damages against spammers to the tune of $500
per email sent or $50,000 per mailing incident.
Opponents argue that ISP’s would be filing against anyone that
might be accused of SPAM, guilty or not, in hopes of reaping big
Considering how SPAM compalints are often handled these days
with innocent people having their services terminated or web
site shut down without even having allegations of SPAM
investigated, perhaps there is reason for such fears of abuse.
A search of both the Senate, http://www.senate.gov/ and the
House, http:/ homas.loc.gov/ found only the following under The
Two other bills introduced in the House are:
1. Wireless Telephone Spam Protection Act – H.R.113 : http:/
2. Anti-Spamming Act of 2001 – H.R. 1017: This Act may be cited
as the `Anti-Spamming Act of 2001′ http:/
Rep. Gene Green, from the 29th District in Texas and is the
sponsor of HR 95, so if you wish to make any suggestions or
comments on the proposed Spam Law, he can be reached by any of
HON. GENE GREEN 2335 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 (202)
225-1688 Fax: (202) 225-9903
HON. GENE GREEN 256 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. E., Suite 29 Houston,
TX 77060 (281) 999-5879 Fax: (281) 999-5716
If you would like to send him an email, you may do so by
visiting his official web site at: http://www.house.gov/green/
and filling out the supplied form.