Schumer Blasts Private Do-Not-E-Mail List

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Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, a major supporter of creating a national do-not-e-mail registry, accused a Chicago company of trying to capitalize on interest in such a list by registering e-mail addresses that it could then sell to spammers.


In a news conference Sunday in New York, Schumer said the Federal Trade Commission should investigate Ethicalemail.com, which offers to collect consumers' e-mail addresses into a do-not-contact database. The company says it then plans to share the database with bulk e-mailers to remove the addresses. Ethicalemail.com said it has gathered 100,000 e-mail addresses.


Schumer said such a list would simply give spammers more addresses and not stop unwanted e-mail. He noted the company's use policies do not restrict it from selling information.


The FTC last month declined to create a national do-not-e-mail registry, reporting to Congress that such a list would not curtail spam and could even increase it.


In a statement, Ethicalemail.com president Rocky Mosele said Schumer is off base in his criticisms.


"This database is not for sale," he said.


Mosele's former company, International Star Registry, offers the ability to "name" a star, or at least receive a certificate attesting to the name of a star. The company is not authorized to officially give names to stars.


Ethicalemail.com's terms of service do not rule out the company selling consumer information, noting that any information entered on the site is property of Ethicalemail.com. It also notes that it is not responsible for what other parties do with the information it provides them. To register, the site asks users for their name, address, phone number and e-mail addresses.


In February, a similar site, Unsub.us, began offering a similar service with a Web site mimicking the FTC's do-not-call site. The FTC found that site was not a scam, after it initially issued a public warning to consumers that such sites could be used to collect and sell their personal information. Unsub.us is no longer in operation.


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