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CAN-SPAM In Effect

Posted on 3.23.2006

Don't think for a minute that the FTC isn't keen on the CAN-SPAM act. An Internet marketer will pay a $900,000 fine, the largest ever on spam-related charges, in a consent decree announced today by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Jumpstart Technologies, based in San Francisco, is permanently prohibited from unlawful practices related to the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act as part of the decree, entered in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Jumpstart violated provisions of the CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act by sending commercial e-mail messages with false or misleading subject and From lines, and by continuing to sending e-mail messages more than 10 business days after receiving an opt-out request from consumers, the FTC said. The company also did not clearly identify messages as advertising or solicitations, and did not clearly inform recipients that they could opt out of receiving more e-mail messages. Jumpstart also made it look as if the original consumer had written the message text. In this way, Jumpstart's commercial e-mail messages circumvented some spam filters and were opened by consumers who thought they contained personal correspondence, the FTC said.

Update: According to a new report from Websurveyor Corp. email marketers still show a "shockingly low level" of understanding about the requirements and penalities of the CAN-SPAM law. Of the 1,082 organizations responding, 81% said they are unaware of the CAN-Spam Act and its requirements and only 19% could correctly identify the act as the legislation governing the broadcast of commercial e-mail.

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