Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 23, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

SPAM IS HISTORY....California has banned spam!

"The time has come for unscrupulous spammers to stop feeding our e-mail inboxes a daily diet of unwanted e-mail," said [Governor Gray] Davis in a statement. "California is sending a clear message to Internet spammers: We will not allow you to litter the information superhighway with e-mail trash."

Excellent! And no sissy thousand dollar fines, either: violators can be fined up to a million bucks. Sadly, there's a catch:

However, the offenders would have to be tracked down first, a potentially challenging assignment because spammers often operate from other states and countries.

That's quite true, isn't it? Oh well, at least we have ourselves a shiny new law.

On the other hand, there's this from the New York Times report:

The burden of complying with the state law, moreover, could well affect nearly all e-mail marketing.

"California represents up to 20 percent of the e-mail that is sent or received," said J. Trevor Hughes, the executive director, of the Network Advertising Initiative, a group of technology companies that send e-mail for marketers. "Instead of trying to segregate the California e-mail addresses, many of our members are going to make the California standard the lowest common denominator."

You mean they might actually take it seriously? Well, you can all thank us later.

But what I really want to know is why California gets 20% of the spam with only 10% of the population? Are we twice as gullible as the average American?

Kevin Drum 4:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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