Date: June 18, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. Not only can spam be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique and protected by the First Amendment. While 33 states have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law. Six bills addressing the spam issue are pending in the 108th Congress: H.R. 1933 (Lofgren), H.R. 2214 (Burr-Tauzin-Sensenbrenner), S. 563 (Dayton), S. 877 (Burns-Wyden), S. 1052 (Nelson-FL), and S. 1231 (Schumer). Spam on wireless devices such as cell phones is discussed in CRS Report RL31636, Wireless Privacy: Availability of Location Information for Telemarketing.
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