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NEWS: FTC Requiring Labels on Explicit Spam

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posted on May, 22 2004 @ 12:02 PM
The Federal Trade Commission if finally cracking down on sexually explicit mass Spam e-mails. The new law will require spammers to include “Sexually Explicit” in the subject line if the mail contains this type of distasteful material. This will greatly improve spam filters effectiveness in detecting and removing offensive material if not eliminating it altogether if desired.

original news source:


The Federal Trade Commission said that starting May 19, senders of sexually oriented "spam" will have to put a "SEXUALLY EXPLICIT" warning label in the subject line to help consumers identify and filter out unwanted messages.

The FTC also said it would bar spammers from adding sexually explicit wording to the subject line.

It said messages must require "an affirmative step by the e-mail recipient to view the materials," such as scrolling farther down into the message or clicking on a link. A 2003 FTC study estimated that about 17 percent of pornographic e-mails contained graphic images that appeared whether or not the recipient wanted to see them.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

The law imposes fines of as much as $250 per violation, or $2 million total, on violators. Some violations even involve jail time. The only problem I see is enforcing the new law. I sometimes receive this type of e-mail and personally find it embarrassing and distasteful. If a child is in my office I need to be cautious when I open my e-mail manager in an attempt to prevent sexually explicit images from flashing on my monitor.

Additional Resources
Associated Press
Federal Trade Commission 1
Federal Trade Commission 2

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[Edited on 5-23-2004 by Valhall]

posted on May, 23 2004 @ 09:21 AM
This almost made me laugh. Does requiring "SEXUALLY EXPLICIT" in the subject line of mass spam adult mailings and its enforcement violate 1st amendment rights of the spammer?

"This is a back door effort to violate people's first amendment rights, whether well intentioned or not," said attorney Jonathan L. Katz of Marks & Katz, LLC, in Silver Spring, Md. He is a first amendment lawyer whose clients include members of the adult entertainment industry.

posted on May, 23 2004 @ 12:22 PM
I'm in agreement with you here Kinglizard. I do not see how this would violate first amendment rights. I think they would have a case if the out right banned the mailings altogether, but not just by requiring an Identification in the subject line.

Personally, I'd like to see the same logic applied to credit card offers I get in the mail.

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