CAN-SPAM Act in Time for the Holidays

Posted by Tom Bartel 

Just in time for the Holidays comes the FTC’s “Effectiveness and Enforcement of the CAN-SPAM Act” report to Congress.

Believe it or not it has been two full years since Can Spam was enacted. Part of the law was a requirement that the FTC issue a report on Can Spam’s effect on the spam problem after two years. That time has come.

I’ ve been through the report, and without doing a detailed review here, I’ll just say that it is mostly what I expected. The FTC points out that in general spam volumes are less now than they were two years ago. They demonstrate the Act’s use as an enforcement instrument by pointing to 50 or so legal actions brought under the Act in the past two years. Other than that, a lot of information about the spam problem today and how it continues to be fought.

As for next steps, the FTC basically recommends three thing to further improve the effectiveness of CAN-SPAM:

  1. Continued development and use of private-sector technology to combat spam
  2. Support for authentication and other efforts that make it difficult for real spammers to conceal their identity
  3. Support the US Safe Web Act of 2005 bill to enable the FTC in fighting spam from outside the US.

Overall, it is not a bad read – you can get to the full FTC report here:


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About Tom Bartel

Tom Bartel is Return Path’s Senior Vice President of ThreatWave Data. Tom has more than 20 years of email delivery, email data and privacy experience. He most recently joined Return Path through its acquisition of ThreatWave, where he served as CEO/Co-founder. Prior to that, he has held roles at Return Path, MessageMedia (acquired by DoubleClick), and founded several other startups. Tom is actively involved in key industry organizations, such as OTA and M3AAWG, and advises start-ups and non-profits. Tom has a Bachelor in Speech Communication from Colorado State University.

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