That's the message of EFF's latest white paper, Noncommercial Email Lists: Collateral Damage in the Fight Against Spam. The paper grew out of our effort to help groups like MoveOn.org deliver messages in the face of anti-spam technologies that obstruct, delay, or outright trash email that recipients have specifically requested. Says co-author Cindy Cohn, "If the government treated free speech this poorly, the First Amendment would be in serious trouble."
Thankfully, there's a cure: The paper contains an extensive section on best practices for ISPs and list owners to protect legitimate, noncommercial bulk mail. "Anti-spam technologies protect us against unwanted messages, but we need to do more to ensure that they don't also prevent us from receiving wanted speech," says co-author Annalee Newitz.
Check it out and pass the URL along, especially if you know someone/an organization that could put these guidelines into practice. EFF is asking ISPs and list owners to sign on to the paper to show their support.