Anti-Slamming Bill Includes Spam

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The Senate last week unanimously passed the Consumer Anti-slamming Act (S. 1618), which prohibits the unauthorized switch of consumers' telephone service providers. Included in the bill was a provision prohibiting unsolicited bulk e-mailers, or spammers, from hiding their identities. Violators are subject to $15,000 fines.


Unscrupulous e-mail marketers often forge return addresses.


The e-mail amendment, drafted by Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-New Jersey), requires bulk e-mailers to accurately identify themselves, including their postal address and telephone number. The provision also requires bulk e-mailers to stop delivering e-mail messages to anyone who replies to a message by saying "remove" in the subject line.


"Junk e-mail has quickly become the scourge of the Internet," Murkowski said.


The bill must be approved by the House.

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