USA's CAN-SPAM law a failure
August 8, 2004

Yahoo's TechWeb are reporting that compliance with the new CAN-SPAM law has dropped from 3% in April to 0.54% according to MX Logic. The law required that SPAM have verifiable return addresses and valid opt-out capabilities. Indications are that either spammers are no longer complying or that the number of spammers has increased so that the percentage of complying mails is dropping.

The researchers are indicating that the main failure is that the law is not being enforced, which is unfair for multiple reasons, not least of which are:

1) There's not much chance of getting already overworked law enforcement groups to try to track down spammers, especially when the spam is often bounced from overseas servers.

2) When the law came in, it effectively killed off some state-level laws that were starting to become effective at prosecuting spammers.

3) If you can get through all the confusing text, it appears that at no point does the law actually prevent spamming (many see this as proof that the Direct Marketing Association pulled a lot of influence to ensure that their members could spam).

When you consider that MX Logic found over 84% of all email being sent outside corporate networks is spam, it is clear that the "you CAN still SPAM" law has been good for spammers (business as usual without the risk of prosecution) and also good for the companies that supply email security and spam filtering. As to the rest of us, we're drowning in it...