Sen. Nelson on the Ban on Deceptive Unsolicited Bulk Electronic Mail Act of 2003
May 13, 2003
Mr. President, junk e-mail is creating gridlock on the nation's telecommunications networks. Not only is unwanted e-mail a major nuisance and an invasion of privacy, it's also a serious impediment to e-commerce. With unsolicited e-mail now accounting for about 45 percent of all e-mail traffic in the United States, something must be done. Today I'm introducing legislation, which will make the worst spammers subject to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, which makes it illegal to acquire or maintain a business through a pattern of racketeering activity. RICO lets authorities seize the assets of illegal operations and will give prosecutors a new weapon in the fight against spam. This legislation would outlaw transmitting high-volume unsolicited electronic mail from both interstate and foreign sources if they contain false, misleading or deceptive routing information. It would also require anyone sending unsolicited bulk electronic mail to provide each recipient with a valid "opt-out" process for declining any or all such marketing or information offers. Members on both sides of the aisle have suggested good solutions to parts of this problem. It's past time for the full Senate to act on this issue, so that we can rid the Net of this garbage. I ask that the full text of the bill be printed in the Record.