Ohio Spam Bill Becomes Law

Ohio Gov. Bob Taft signed a bill this week that outlaws Internet ads that are deceptive or misleading and bans false accounts to send spam.

The law prohibits falsifying routing information in commercial electronic mail messages, falsifying registration information for multiple electronic mail accounts or falsifying the right to use five or more Internet protocol addresses. It also prohibits unauthorized access to a computer to transmit multiple commercial electronic mail messages.

The bill takes effect 90 days after being signed and filed with the Ohio secretary of state.

The law allows the state attorney general to impose criminal and civil sanctions against spammers. The worst violators could face a minimum of six months in jail and fines of $25,000 per violation, or $2 to $8 per violating e-mail. Their computer equipment could be confiscated, and Internet providers could sue for damages.

The Ohio bill was modeled on the federal CAN-SPAM Act but includes tougher penalties. Maryland also has enacted an anti-spam law with criminal penalties, and Virginia recently used its law to send a North Carolina man to prison for sending hundreds of thousands of spam e-mails.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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