Saturday, 29 November 2003

More Congressional ineptitude

Yesterday I wrote about one Senator who tried to regulate technologies that he did not understand. Today, I have to rebuke the entire House of Representatives for something far worse.

After reviewing the highlights of the CAN-SPAM Act for my blog last week, I was asked to write a more comprehensive review for the Journal of Internet Law. During my more careful, second reading of the bill, I noticed an inexcusable discrepancy. Early on, the bill defines a "commercial electronic mail message" (its verbose term for spam) as "any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service." 3(2)(A). A few paragraphs later, the bill states, "It is the sense of Congress that [s]pam has become the method of choice for those who distribute…viruses, worms, and Trojan horses into personal and business computer systems." 4(c).

This passage shows (1) that the House has no idea what those terms mean or what spam is, and (2) the House has no idea how it defined spam just a few paragraphs earlier!

Posted at 1:19:34 PM | Permalink

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Topics: Cyberlaw, Spam, Technology
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