Should CAN SPAM Be Repealed?
from the wait-a-second... dept
It’s not a secret that CAN SPAM has been something of a failure, just as many people predicted when it first passed. However, there’s something odd in the arguments from those who say it should be repealed. They go back to the same story suggesting that CAN SPAM is to blame for an increase in spam. While I was one of those who believed this would happen when the law first passed, I’m not so sure any more. The problem is that there are two arguments people are making to support the fact that CAN SPAM is a failure, and those two arguments seem to contradict each other somewhat. Argument one: very, very few spam emails comply with CAN SPAM, using a legitimate return address and offering a real opt out Argument two: CAN SPAM allows for an increase in the amount of spam by setting up the rules by which spammers can make their spam legal. While that second argument was the one that concerned me, the fact that argument one is being made seems to negate argument number two. Whether or not CAN SPAM allows for “legitimate spam,” it appears that very, very few are using it for that purpose. So the argument that CAN SPAM, by itself, is responsible for the increase in spam doesn’t make much sense. If it did, then the compliance rate for spam messages should be much, much higher. That the law is ineffective makes much more sense. From the beginning, we’ve been asking where’s the backup plan if CAN SPAM fails… and we’re still asking. Why do politicians pass a law to fix a problem and then immediately assume the problem is fixed, rather than putting in place some sort of system to see if the law does what it’s supposed to do and a strategy to follow up if it doesn’t?