House Introduce Rid Spam Act

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There's another anti-spam bill to add to the growing list for the country's legislators to consider.

The Reduction in Distribution of Spam Act of 2003, or Rid Spam, was introduced Friday and would require that any commercial e-mail include identification that the message is an advertisement and contain a valid street address for service of process.

The bill, introduced by House Energy and Commerce chairman W.J. "Billy" Tauzin, R-LA, House Judiciary chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-WI, and Rep. Richard M. Burr, R-NC, would give criminal and civil enforcement capabilities to states, Internet service providers and federal authorities.

"The time has come to give the American people the power to say no. No to unwanted spam and no to the endless headaches involved with the crippling congestion spam causes to computers every day," Tauzin said in a statement. "While e-mail has brought consumers a fast, efficient and reliable communications medium, the explosion of spam today threatens to flood the critical arteries of the networks that carry all e-mail, whether consumers want it or not."

The Direct Marketing Association said Friday that it supports "passage of federal legislation as one of the weapons to combat … spam," said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs at the DMA. "Having a House measure co-sponsored by the chairmen of two such powerful congressional committees in conjunction with the Burns/Wyden bill in the Senate provides our greatest opportunity to date to ensure that federal legislation is, in fact, enacted."

According to the Federal Trade Commission, two-thirds of the unwanted commercial e-mail that clogs users' inboxes contains deceptive information such as false return addresses, misleading subject lines or pitches for questionable products.

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