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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Florida Spam Law
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Florida Governor Jeb Bush is well known for his expansive email habits. He sends scores of messages each day to employees, legislators and constituents. Yesterday Bush took aim at spam when he signed legislation to give the attorney general the authority to bring a civil action against the sender, or anyone who helps the sender, of email with a deceptive subject line.

This strikes me as a fair balance. It preserves the rights of advertisers to hock their wares to consumers. Unwanted commercial email is not prohibited. However, if false or misleading information is provided - essentially fraud - there is a role for the state to play to minimize losses from bad actors in the economy.

I didn't delve into the details of the new law, so it is unclear to me how viruses and other malicious emails will be treated by the Florida AG. These intrusive emails usually have misleading subject lines but fall short of trying to sell something. The harm to email users from a virus is more akin to trespass or property damage than fraud.

USA Today has the story.

posted by @ 11:36 AM | General

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