Wash. State Becomes First To Ban ‘Spam’

Washington Will Fine Junk E-Mail Senders $500


Attention Spammers! The flag is up! You have till June 22, 1998 to get a real job. On March 25, 1998, Washington State became the first state to lay down the law on Junk E-mail when Governor Gary Locke signed the following bill into action. A big BizNet Thanks to the Governor for slamming the "Spammers".

The law, bans junk E-mail that contains untrue or misleading information from being sent to or from any computer in Washington.

Now this is just the start. Expect more states to enact similar laws. Then you can expect the law to get even tuffer. Eventually the Federal government will enact a law, much the like the "Junk Fax" law. The "Junk Fax" law allows a private person to sue the sender of any unsolicited fax for $500.00. This new law, also allows for a $500.00 penalty.

This puts the burden where it belongs, on the junk-mail sender to find out whether the recipient lives in Washington or not. This is no easy task. If the recipeant is using a service such as Hot Mail or Juno it becomes impossible.

For every violation the Spammer can expect to pay $500.00 even if the sender is out of state.

So when this law takes effect in a few months, that annoying junk mail cluttering up your computer could turn into a little change for your pocket.

 

To all you Spammers! Read it and weep, your going down.


EarthLink wins $2 million consent judgment in lawsuit and sets an important precedent in the war against mass unsolicited email

http://www.earthlink.net/company/press_releases/cp_judgement.html


SENATE BILL 6434

State of Washington 55th Legislature 1998 Regular Session

By Senators Finkbeiner, Brown, Winsley, Jacobsen, Haugen, Rasmussen and

Kohl; by request of Attorney General

Read first time 01/19/98. Referred to Committee on Energy & Utilities.

AN ACT Relating to electronic mail; adding a new chapter to Title 19 RCW; and prescribing penalties.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

{+ NEW SECTION. +} Sec. 1. The legislature finds that the volume of unsolicited electronic mail has grown exponentially in the past year as individuals and organizations have discovered that they are able to send electronic advertisements to hundreds of thousands or millions of internet users at virtually no cost.

Unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages constitute the majority of unsolicited electronic mail. Unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages often impose an out-of-pocket monetary cost on recipients who cannot refuse such messages and incur incremental fees for time spent accessing and reviewing each message.

To the recipient, unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages are often indistinguishable from other electronic mail messages. The unsolicited messages thus diminish the utility of electronic mail service because users must wade through unwanted advertisements to obtain those messages they wish to receive.

Unsolicited commercial electronic mail messages cannot be effectively blocked and, thus, invade the privacy of recipients. This invasion of privacy is exacerbated for recipients whose electronic mail service issues an alert for each message received, resulting in repeated disruption of computer use.

Advertisers may reach electronic mail users by less intrusive

means, means which do not impose the cost of unwanted advertisements on

recipients and do not interfere with recipients’ ability to use

electronic mail service. Advertisers may also continue to use

electronic mail as a low-cost method of reaching a wide audience, if their mailings are solicited.

Unsolicited electronic mail sent in bulk often imposes significant monetary costs on the interactive computer services, businesses, and educational and nonprofit institutes because they must divert a significant portion of their limited computing resources to processing and storing those messages and to responding to ensuing complaints by recipients. Unsolicited electronic mail is increasingly diminishing the quality of service provided to customers of interactive computer services and is harming the interactive computer services themselves.

{+ NEW SECTION. +} Sec. 2. The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

(1) "Electronic mail address" means a destination, commonly

expressed as a string of characters, to which electronic mail may be sent or delivered.

(2) "Initiate the transmission" refers to the action by the

original sender of an electronic mail message, not to the action by any

intervening interactive computer service that may handle or retransmit

the message, unless the intervening interactive computer service

retransmits the message with an intent to engage in activities

prohibited by this section.

(3) "Interactive computer service" means any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically

a service or system that provides access to the internet and such

systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational

institutions.

{+ NEW SECTION. +} Sec. 3. (1) No person, corporation,

partnership, or association may initiate the transmission of an

unsolicited electronic mail message from a commuter located in

Washington or to a Washington resident’s electronic mail address, to promote goods or services for purchase or lease by the recipient.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, this

section does not apply to: (a) An electronic mail message intended to

be delivered exclusively to existing customers who have previously

purchased or leased goods or services from the sender; (b) an

electronic mail message sent for the purpose of collecting an existing obligation; or an electronic mail message sent with the consent of all intended recipients. However, if an existing customer provides to a business written or electronic notice that the customer does not wish to receive further electronic mail messages from that business, the business shall not send the customer any further unsolicited electronic mail messages.

(3) A person may not initiate an unsolicited electronic mail

message under the provisions of subsection (2) of this section if the person knows or reasonably should know that any of the recipients is a governmental entity, unless that entity has consented to the receipt of the electronic mail message.

{+ NEW SECTION. +} Sec. 4. (1) If a person, corporation, partnership, or association initiates the transmission of an unsolicited commercial electronic mail message from a computer located in Washington or to a Washington resident’s electronic mail address to promote goods or services for purchase or lease by the recipient, that person or entity shall cause the following information to appear in each electronic mail message transmitted:

(a) The term "advertisement"; and

(b) The legal name, mailing address, true electronic mail address, physical address, and telephone number, including area code, of the person, corporation, partnership, or association initiating transmission of the message and the date and time the message was sent.

(2) The information specified in subsection (1)(a) of this section must appear as the first word on the subject line of the electronic mail message, without any prior text or symbol.

(3) The information specified in subsection (1)(b) of this section

must appear prominently in the body of the message.

{+ NEW SECTION. +} Sec. 5. The unsolicited transmission of

electronic mail messages promoting goods or services for purchase or

lease by the recipient in violation of this section is a matter

affecting the public interest for the purpose of applying the consumer

protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW. The transmission of unsolicited

electronic mail messages in violation of this section is not reasonable

in relation to the development and preservation of business. A

violation of this section is an unfair or deceptive act in trade or

commerce for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW.

{+ NEW SECTION. +} Sec. 6. (1) Damages to the recipient of an unsolicited electronic mail message sent in violation of this section are five hundred dollars, or actual damages, whichever is greater.

(2) Damages to an interactive computer service resulting from a violation of this section are one thousand dollars, or actual damages, whichever is greater.

{+ NEW SECTION. +} Sec. 7. (1) An interactive computer service may, upon its own initiative, block the receipt or transmission through its service of any electronic mail which it reasonably believes is, or will be, sent in violation of this chapter.

(2) No interactive computer service may be held liable for any

action voluntarily taken in good faith to block the receipt or

transmission through its service of any electronic mail which it

reasonably believes is, or will be, sent in violation of this section.

{+ NEW SECTION. +} Sec. 8. Sections 1 through 7 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 19 RCW.

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