Senate Urged to Pass CAN SPAM and Criminal Spam Acts
October 22, 2003
To Members of the U.S. Senate:
I am writing on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than 3 million businesses of every size, sector and region, in support of legislative efforts to stop spam, particularly S. 877 and S. 1293.
Spam has become more than a nuisance — it has become so overwhelming that all aspects of the business community, from ISPs who have to invest millions of dollars in bandwidth, to retailers who have seen their opt-in emails deleted along with the spam and pornography, and everyone in between, would like to see this problem eradicated. We believe that stopping spam is going to take a multi-pronged effort, including technology, increased FTC enforcement, and enhanced ability of ISPs to go after the bad actors.
The CAN SPAM and Criminal Spam Acts fill in key pieces of the puzzle regarding this issue. This legislation represents a critical and effective effort to combat spam, but does so in a narrowly targeted way that focuses on combating the clear abuses, while protecting the continued legitimate use of email. It also eliminates many of the mistakes made in previous efforts, such as granting private rights of action for consumers or requiring labels for commercial email.
Efforts to combat spam should focus on strengthening penalties against bad actors aimed specifically at their fraudulent and deceptive acts. We believe, as described above, that S. 1293 and S. 877 follow such an approach.
The U.S. Chamber may use any votes related to this issue in our annual "How They Voted Guide."
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce