Can-Spam Act Not Yet Effective, Study Asserts

Rhett Pardon
DENVER – Only one in six pornographic unsolicited emails complied with a new Federal Trade Commission rule regarding the labeling of pornographic spam, according to network security firm MX Logic.

The Denver-based company said that the FTC rule, which went into effect May 19, has been flouted.

The law requires all unsolicited email with sexually oriented content to bear the label "SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT" in the subject line.

"Fighting spam is an enormous challenge – one that requires a multi-pronged solution,” MX Logic spokesman Scott Chasin told XBiz. “In addition to enforceable anti-spam laws, winning the war on spam will require the continued deployment of robust email defense technology.”

Chasin also said it would take meaningful industry cooperation and the empowerment of users to stop spam and other email threats.

MX Logic scanned a sampling of 12,000 pornographic messages during the first seven days the FTC began requiring the label and found that only 15.3 percent of the porn spam was properly labeled.

The Can-Spam Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) requires that unsolicited commercial email senders ensure that the "from" line clearly reflects the sender's identity; that it includes a subject line text consistent with message content; that it includes the advertiser's valid postal address; and that it contains a working opt-out mechanism as a way for the consumer to decline to receive further commercial email from the sender.

Later this month, the FTC is expected to issue a report on the advisability of creating a "Do Not Email" registry, much like the existing "Do Not Call" registry for telemarketing.