S.1618 – 105th Congress, Unsolicited Email! A Bunch of Bull!
Have you received email solicitations with this paragraph included somewhere in the message:
“This message is sent in compliance with the new email bill section 301. Under Bill S.1618 TITLE III passed by the 105th U.S. Congress this message cannot be considered Spam as long as we include the way to be removed, Paragraph (a)(c) of S.1618. Further transmissions to you by the sender of this email may be stopped at no cost to you by sending a request to be removed to __”
Well it is, in plain language, a bunch of BULL!
U.S. Senate Bill 1618, an Anti-slamming Amendments Act, contained a Section 301, relating to transmissions of unsolicited commercial electronic mail. S.1618 was approved by the U.S. Senate on May 12, 1998. It was then referred to the House Committee on Commerce on October 21, 1998. The Bill DIED in committee and was never passed into law by the 105th Congress. Nor has the 106th Congress passed anything similar at this time. I was able to confirm this information both by checking the U.S. Senate records and specifically by an inquiry with one of my Senators.
So first, the quoted paragraph above is in error since the bill never became law. Secondly, if it did become law the messages I generally receive citing the above, are quite deficient in compliance with the alleged law that they reference. Here, in part, are the exact requirements of the bill that would have been law in respect to email if in fact the bill had passed:
SEC. 301. REQUIREMENTS RELATING TO TRANSMISSIONS OF UNSOLICITED COMMERCIAL ELECTRONIC MAIL.
(a) INFORMATION TO BE INCLUDED IN TRANSMISSIONS-
(1) IN GENERAL- A person who transmits an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message shall cause to appear in each such electronic mail message the information specified in paragraph (2).
(2) COVERED INFORMATION- The following information shall appear at the beginning of the body of an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message under paragraph (1):
(A) The name, physical address, electronic mail address, and telephone number of the person who initiates transmission of the message.
(B) The name, physical address, electronic mail address, and telephone number of the person who created the content of the message, if different from the information under subparagraph (A).
(C) A statement that further transmissions of unsolicited commercial electronic mail to the recipient by the person who initiates transmission of the message may be stopped at no cost to the recipient by sending a reply to the originating electronic mail address with the word `remove’ in the subject line.
How many messages citing this “Law” as justification for sending you SPAM contain the items in Para. (2)(A) & (B). I haven’t seen any out of the 1000’s I received. In fact, in those that I try to send a message back to, the reply address is usually invalid.
Plus, even though they furnish you with a means at the end of the message to “Remove” yourself from the mailings, it is usually a false address or url when you actually try to remove yourself.
This type of mis-information spreads like wildfire once someone makes it up and pretty soon everybody takes it for the truth. It is similar to all those emails, forwarded by the thousands, proclaiming that Microsoft is going to pay you over $200 for each person you forward the message to.
The use of this statement of the “Law” in sending unsolicited email advertisements does not diminish the fact that they are still SPAM no matter how a mailer tries to camouflage his or her efforts. It should also make you think twice, no matter how great the offer looks, about the integrity of the individual and/or company sending it to you and whether you want to deal with them..
Article by Joe Reinbold, Publisher of Home Income Quarterly
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