SPAM, SPAM, Everywhere!!!!

Date: Feb 10, 2003

SPAM has become an increasing concern for consumers and, as a result, businesses conducting e-commerce must be aware of a variety of laws and responsive to consumer issues in order to maintain good will. Many states have enacted laws in the last few years to address both SPAM and fraudulent e-mails and, in addition, federal SPAM legislation is has again been introduced. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently announced that it will host a three-day "SPAM Forum" April 30, 2003 to May 2, 2003 to address the SPAM/fraudulent e-mail issues. The FTC is encouraging broad participation from e-mail marketers, anti-SPAMMERS, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and ISP abuse department personnel, SPAM filter operators, consumers, consumer groups, and law enforcement personnel.

According to the FTC, the workshop will include panels to address various issues associated with SPAM, including:

    • The daily experience of consumers, filter programmers, and ISP abuse department personnel in dealing with SPAM

    • E-mail address harvesting technology

    • Deceptive routing and subject information in SPAM

    • The costs and benefits of SPAM, including the costs ISPs spend on filtering, bandwidth, and customer service that are passed on to consumers

    • Security weaknesses such as open relays, open proxies, and Form Mail scripts in e-mail transfer technology

    • Blacklists

    • Viruses, Web beacons, and spyware that may be attached to e-mail

    • Wireless devices, text-based messaging, and wireless e-mail

    • Current and proposed SPAM legislation

    • Enforcement of current and proposed international SPAM legislation

    • Recent private and governmental SPAM law enforcement actions

    • Best practices for e-mail senders and receivers

    • Evolving technologies to eliminate or negate SPAM

    • Structural changes to the way e-mail is sent, including proposals to reverse the cost model of e-mail

Interested parties have until March 25, 2003 to request to participate on a panel. See http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/02/spamforum.htm for additional information on how to participate in the forum.

For additional information about this topic or other e-commerce issues, please contact Sheila A. Millar, at (202) 434-4143 or by e-mail at Millar@khlaw.com or Vanessa R. Hamilton, at (202) 434-4111 or by e-mail at Hamilton@khlaw.com.