Gartner: CAN-SPAM Will Fail

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Gartner Research predicted the recently passed CAN-SPAM Act would have little effect on spammers.

In a note to clients Dec. 3, the Stamford, CT, researcher said that federal spam legislation would not reduce the volume of spam.

"Disreputable spammers will find no need to comply with the legislation," Gartner said. "Should spammers feel at risk, the spam e-mail will be sent through an offshore ISP, outside U.S. jurisdiction."

The CAN-SPAM Act does provide for prosecution of those advertising with fraudulent commercial e-mail.

Gartner said the law's main effect on legitimate e-mail marketers would be to scrap the maze of state laws regulating commercial e-mail in favor of a national standard. The researcher also predicted tighter spam filtering from Internet service providers and businesses facing rising levels of spam.

Spam, which Brightmail says accounted for 56 percent of all e-mail in November, is set to increase next year. Anti-spam company BlackSpider predicted spam would account for 70 percent of all e-mail by the end of 2004.

The Senate passed CAN-SPAM on Nov. 25, and the House of Representatives needs to sign off on slight changes the Senate made when it returns Dec. 8. The president is expected to sign the legislation into law by the end of the year.


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