Australia has become the first jurisdiction to force ISPs operating in that country to provide anti-spam options to users. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), through its Internet Industry Spam Code Of Practice, also requires ISPs to inform end-users on ways to combat spam and to have a process for handling complaints from subscribers.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released a public notice asking for input on the development and operation of a National Do Not Call List (DNCL) and on telemarketing rules. The CRTC has been authorized to establish a national DNCL, select a third-party administrator for the national DNCL, and to levy administrative monetary penalties. The Commission will be holding a public proceeding to address many issues such as:
what the specific DNCL rules should be; and
which, if any, of the existing telemarketing rules continue to be necessary and appropriate
Unless regulators block it, Microsoft may be set to do an end run around Google and Yahoo! Why settle for a small adsense ad when you can take advantage of the whole screen while the user has nothing to do but wait for Windows to start up.
There’s news that AOL and Yahoo are planning on implementing a certified email system based on Goodmail System’s CertifiedEmail technology. Bulk email senders, who must represent that they have the recipient’s consent, can pay a small fee to get priority treatment by spam filters. Personally, I think this could be a good thing and would like to see it expanded to more easily include corporate email systems running Microsoft Exchange. Ideally, each system should be able to also include its own whitelist of senders who can send emails at the same priority without paying a fee. Such a system could then act to discourage unsolicited email. Sure there would be a small cost when email is sent to someone without a pre-existing business relationship, but that would not be different than the cost being paid today by many businesses and individuals for email spam filtering services. Such a cost could even be offset if Goodmail or a competitor decided to share a portion of the fee with the recipients. “Buy our system and start receiving revenue on unsolicited incoming mail” Potentially a great way to encourage adoption.
Yesterday, I saw an article on ZDnet that I thought I’d comment on. So I clicked the feedback button. Turned out that in order to add any feedback, one had to register for ZDnet. This did not just involved the usual request for an email address, which is then verified, but also involved a request for a lot of other information. More than should be required just to provide feedback. As part of the “registration”, users are also asked if they wish to subscribe to certain emails newsletters. By default, certain ones are prechecked. I unchecked everything and then registered. Just one day later, I’ve already started to receive unwanted emails. It seems that there are other newsletters that new users are automatically subscribed to unless they log into their account and uncheck further boxes. Come on. If users provide information, including emails address, for one purpose or sign up to perform a specific task, that information should not be used for other purposes without explicit consent. Users should not be subject to reading long privacy policies each time they sign up for something new.
From eWeek – FTC Celebrates CAN-SPAM with Spam Suits:
On Tuesday, the FTC said it filed complaints against three spam operations accused of violating CAN-SPAM, and said Canada’s, Competition Bureau and Attorneys General in Florida, North Carolina and Texas took action against or settled cases against five others.
Those actions, coupled with better antispam technology have reduced the amount of spam consumers receive, or caused it to level off, FTC said.
Continue reading FTC announces legal action against spammers
I sometimes like to look for interesting stories on topics of interest using Technorati. However, the rising number of spam blogs is making the task more time consuming. Here’s a suggestion to Technorati – how about adding a “block this blog” button which can be used to prevent specified blogs from coming up on future searches made by that user. If enough regular users block a particular blog, Technorati could even block that blog for everyone (with or without a human review, depending on the threshold that’s set). How about it.
The FTC is set release a report, entitled Effectiveness and Enforcement of the CAN-SPAM Act, which addresses the the effectiveness of the 2 year old CAN-SPAM Act. Officials from state and federal enforcement agencies, as well as the Canadian Competition Bureau, will also announce criminal law enforcement initiatives targeting illegal spam operations.
CAN-SPAM, which stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing, is better known as a tool that has made it easier to send unsolicited mail because it took precedent over sometimes conflicting, but usually more consumer oriented, state legislation.