Technology: Biting Spam

How strong is the first federal law regulating spam, which goes into effect Jan. 1? Signed by President Bush on Dec. 16, the Can-Spam Act stipulates that e-mail marketers must clearly label their messages as advertisements and include an "Internet-based" opt-out feature. What the bill doesn't do is bar advertisers from sending unsolicited e-mail in the first place. Instead, consumers must opt out of every marketing offer they receive--an onerous task. Critics argue that the bill may actually encourage more marketers to start spamming consumers, since the law makes it perfectly legal to do so as long as the proper regulations...

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