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A new anti-spam law was passed by the United States and went into effect on January 1, 2004. Sadly, this only prevents US companies from sending out spam without certain indicators. Under this new law, CAN-SPAM, marketers must remove customers from their lists when requested, they must provide automated opt-out methods as well as complete contact information (address and phone) with alternate means of removal. CAN-SPAM also bans common spamming practices such as false headers and email harvesting (the use of software that spiders websites to collect email addresses). Subject lines must be truthful and contain a notice that the message is an ad. By forcing commercial companies into these more honest practices, the efficiency of your spam filter will increase. You will still going to get unsoliceted spam from companies not govened by our laws, but the CAN-SPAM law is a good start.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|