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U.S. representatives mount attack on spam


(IDG) -- A bill designed to give consumers and ISPs greater control over a flood of unwanted e-mail, commonly known as spam, was introduced Wednesday by the same U.S. representatives who sponsored the legislation in the last Congress.

Representative Heather Wilson, R-N.M., and Representative Gene Green, D-Texas, resubmitted the Unsolicited Commercial E-Mail Act. The bill introduced Wednesday is identical to the bill that passed the House in the last Congress by a vote of 427 to one. It has been assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a spokesman for Wilson said. INFOCENTER
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The bill stalled in the Senate last year after being introduced late in the session, but "we are optimistic that we will have success this year," the spokesman said. The Senate is expected to schedule a hearing of the bill, he added.

The bill is aimed at giving consumers the power to block unwanted e-mail and providing ISPs who bear the cost of delivering spam with a legal right of action to block those who dump unwanted messages onto their networks, according to a statement issued by Wilson's office. The bill already has more than 60 co-sponsors, the statement said.

The bill would require accurate return addresses on unsolicited commercial e-mail, make it illegal to continue sending junk e-mail to someone who has asked to be removed from a distribution list, require unsolicited commercial e-mail to be labeled, and require ISPs to let their customers opt out of receiving junk e-mail if the ISP profits from allowing it into their system.

The bill would also set a penalty for continuing to send junk e-mail after someone has asked for it to stop and allow ISPs to sue spammers for $500 per message if they violate their anti-spam policy.

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4:30pm ET, 4/16

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