Coalition Questions Utah Child Protection Registry Act

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A coalition of six organizations said yesterday that it filed an application of amici curiae against the Utah Child Protection Registry Act, saying the law is flawed and could weaken the federal CAN-SPAM Act.


The Utah law aims to protect minors from receiving e-mails promoting products or services that cannot be sold lawfully to them or contain material "harmful to minors." It would create a do-not-e-mail registry and require e-mail marketers to "scrub" their lists against the registry for a fee.


The organizations are Email Sender and Provider Coalition, American Advertising Federation, American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers Inc., Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy & Technology.


The group said that it applauds Utah's intentions but that several security concerns arise when examining the registry technology, which may expose minors' e-mail addresses rather than sealing them from predators and spammers.


"Three strong advertising associations, a leading e-mail association and two consumer advocacy/online privacy organizations coming together is a rare and powerful coalition," Trevor Hughes, executive director of the ESPC, said in a statement. "The fact that we have come together so strongly is testament to the gravity of our concerns about this act."


The amicus brief will argue that the CAN-SPAM Act should control and preempt the Utah registry to preserve a strong federal standard. The Federal Trade Commission has come out several times against creating an e-mail registry.


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