Monday, February 11, 2008

"Spam Reduction Act" Bill To Receive Second Reading Vote in House Mon.

A bill that would criminalize the sending of spam in Colorado will get its first floor vote in the House Monday, Feb. 11.

HB 1178 would specify that unsolicited commercial e-mail messages, or commercial email messages that conceal the sender, are deceptive trade practices under state law. It would allow Internet service providers to sue spam senders if their networks are used to send unlawful email traffic and recover actual damages and, in some cases, attorney fees and costs.

The bill also grants immunity from civil liability to ISPs who take actions to prevent the sending of spam over their networks. It also explicitly grants the state Attorney General authority to enforce the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act of 2003, 15 U.S.C. section 7701 et seq.

Finally, the bill declares that violations of the CAN-SPAM Act are "inherently false and deceptive" and specifies that "electronic mail fraud" is a class 2 misdemeanor on first offense and a class 1 misdemeanor on a second or subsequent offense within two years.

If enacted, the bill would supersede Colorado's Junk E-mail law and grant the state all of the authority to regulate spam granted by the CAN-SPAM Act.

The sponsors of the bill are Rep. Morgan Carroll, D-Aurora, and Sen. Bob Hagedorn, D-Aurora.