New Jersey Congressman Reintroduces Spam Bill

Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, has reintroduced anti-spam legislation that would prohibit unsolicited commercial e-mail without the name, physical address and e-mail address of the sender.

The bill also requires the sender to offer options for recipients to decline further communications by e-mail and prohibits the inclusion of “false or misleading” information in the message.

Smith said his bill would not impact people with a “prior business relationship” with a company such as a catalog retailer and would not prohibit the retailer from e-mailing prior customers.

Smith originally introduced the bill, H.R. 3146, in October 1999 as the Netizens Protection Act of 1999, but it languished in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The bill allows recipients of e-mails that violate the requirements to seek up to $500 per e-mail message. Violators also could be fined up to $1,500 per e-mail if they continue to send spam to someone who has opted-out.

The bill also requires Internet service providers to clearly state their spam policies known and to include an opt-out choice for customers.

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