April 9, 2004 | By Donna Wentworth

EFF Comments on CAN-SPAM

Today, we filed comments (PDF) with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to warn against overbroad interpretation of the CAN-SPAM Act -- new federal legislation aimed at stemming the current tidal wave of spam. We are pessimistic that the law will be effective in that respect, and argue in our comments that it could also hurt legitimate email -- especially noncommercial email mailing lists.

Specifically, we urged the FTC to:
1) limit the bill's reach to truly "commercial" speech under the settled First Amendment principles;
2) protect consumers from liability when they decide to "forward to a friend" an ad for a product they like; and
3) ensure that people will still be able to use nicknames when sending messages, as the law could make it illegal to send a commercial message with a nickname as the return address. We suggested that the law apply only to return addresses that mislead the recipient.

[Note: the linked document contains only our additional comments. We don't have a copy of the document containing the full comments, although we expect the FTC to publish it at some point.]

Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Just what the doctor ordered: HealthCare.gov will support Do Not Track, beef up privacy protections, @AP reports: https://eff.org/r.a89f

Oct 9 @ 11:26am

Brasil: Assine a petição contra o #PLEspião. Reaja! https://eff.org/r.p4tb

Oct 9 @ 10:38am

Leaked TPP text shows trade officials caved to Hollywood, agreeing to a 20-year copyright term extension and weak user protections.

Oct 9 @ 10:28am
JavaScript license information