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The USA's bodged anti-spam legislation (CAN-SPAM) means that US companies can send unsolicited commercial email as long as there's an opt out. I suppose this is a result of the 'free speech' laws and advertising lobby groups. Unfortunately one of the side effects of CAN-SPAM is that many organisations outside of the USA think it appleis to them, including Australian companies. This is a dangerous assumption to make as we have an opt-IN regime here and sending bulk unsolicited email without an opt-out can attract a hefty fine if ACMA decides to make an example of you.

The end result of this process is that whilst we've seen large strides forward in blocking the usual viagra type of spam there's been a marked increase in spam from companies that are easily identifiable and have some real products, so I've started calling this 'Proper Spam'. So now we have to stop 'real' email spam, that is spam that's not 'spammy', rather than the more easily spotted old school spam without ending up with large numbers of  false positives. So you heard it here first: Proper Spam = Unsolicited commercial email sent by companies as a direct result of the USA's CAN-SPAM regulations. Thanks Uncle Sam.

Published: April 16th 2009 at 9:56am

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