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CAN-SPAM Act – Part III

CAN-SPAM Act – Part II

CAN-SPAM Act – Part I

Cloud Computing and Privacy Shield Regulations


 
Welcome to our May 2016 Newsletter! Please take the time to read the article and contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

 

Law Offices of Salar Atrizadeh

The CAN-SPAM Act

In these days, spam has become a nuisance for most people. In sum, spam is the unwanted messages and solicitations that one receives in their inbox. However, Congress took measures to de-clutter your inbox through the CAN-SPAM Act. So what is the CAN-SPAM Act? What are its limits? What does this federal law do to stop the spam?

In these days, spam has become a nuisance for most people. In sum, spam is the unwanted messages and solicitations that one receives in their inbox. However, Congress took measures to de-clutter your inbox through the CAN-SPAM Act. So what is the CAN-SPAM Act? What are its limits? What does this federal law do to stop the spam?

The CAN-SPAM Act (a/k/a Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act) prohibits sending unsolicited commercial emails with misleading headers or "from" lines. Effectively, it prohibits false and misleading messages (e.g., "Sign Up For Free Goods") when the goods may cost a certain amount, or emails regarding your Facebook account from a business that is not Facebook. It requires three disclosures: (1) clear and conspicuous identification that the message is an advertisement or solicitation; (2) clear and conspicuous notice of the opportunity to decline to receive further commercial email messages from the sender; and (3) a valid physical postal address of the sender. It also requires that any sexually-explicit message be clearly labeled as sexually-oriented material, in addition to, the three disclosures and instructions on how to access the sexually-oriented material.

Furthermore, this federal statute sets up the implementation of a "Do-Not-E-Mail" registry, as well as, punishments in the form of fines and damages for those that can sue under the law . Aggravated offenses are also listed, including, address harvesting, dictionary attacks, spoofing (i.e., sending emails through another computer without authorization), or an automated creation of email accounts to use in sending unlawful messages.

In addition, this law sets out limitations to allow the cooperation of state law. While states are generally precluded from enacting laws that would interfere with federal laws (e.g., CAN-SPAM Act), yet they allow legislation that would be non-exclusive for electronic mail. This could include computer crimes, or fraud, if they are not restricted to electronic mail. It grants further exceptions to providers of Internet access service and their policies.

To effectively stop the spam, a few things are provided in the law. First, is the requirement to opt-out of spam messages, and the requirement that the recipient stops receiving messages no less than 30 days after the opt-out request is sent out to the sender. It also provides that a violation can result in fines or five years imprisonment in criminal claims. In civil claims, it allows certain entities to sue for damages, including, but not limited to, Internet Service Providers (e.g., Verizon, AT&T, GoDaddy). In limited cases, individuals may file a lawsuit if there is evidence of fraud or deception against the sender.

Furthermore, various federal agencies are tasked with enforcing the CAN-SPAM Act. They include, the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Secretary of Agriculture, and Farm Credit Administration. However, this law also allows state Attorney Generals to enforce the statute and obtain damages on behalf of residents of the state.

For more information about what you can about spam violations, you should consult with an attorney. At our law firm, we assist clients regarding internet, e-commerce, and online privacy matters.

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