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FC: Will U.S. anti-spam laws work when spam now comes from overseas?
From: Declan McCullagh <declan () well com>
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 11:02:55 -0500

   Spam Oozes Past Border Patrol
   by Declan McCullagh (declan () wired com)
   2:00 a.m. Feb. 23, 2001 PST
   WASHINGTON -- It's the start of a new session of Congress, which means
   that legislators are again pledging to save us from the dreaded
   scourge of spam.
   Last week, Reps. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) and Gene Green (D-Texas)
   reintroduced a bill they claimed "empowers consumers and their ISP
   with the ability to protect both their privacy and their resources" by
   restricting unsolicited commercial e-mail.
   Legislators have offered similar measures before, of course, with zero
   As far back as 1997, Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-Ala.) and Rep. Chris
   Smith (R-N.J.) were busy talking up their own proposals that purported
   to eliminate clogged connections and cluttered inboxes.
   This time, anti-spam proponents in Congress may have more luck. Last
   year, the Senate and the House approved different bills. Both stalled
   and neither became law, but the effort shows that federal legislators
   are willing to act.
   But will a U.S. law even work?
   If there's one thing certain about spam, it's that an increasing
   amount of the stuff is originating from overseas sites and flowing
   through non-U.S. servers -- all outside the reach of U.S. law.
   A newsadmin.com list of the most prolific 100 Usenet spam hosts, for
   instance, reveals that 52 of them are now offshore. Sites in Russia,
   France, Greece and the Netherlands are among the worst foreign
   The same appears to be true of e-mail spam: Most of it is still
   domestic, but a growing proportion lies outside of U.S. jurisdiction.
   Statistics compiled by SpamCop, an anti-spam service, show that of the
   five Internet providers receiving the most spam complaints, three are
   in the United States and two are not.
   Offshore companies also appear to be more tolerant of spammers.
   According to SpamCop's database of network administrators who are the
   most sluggish in replying to complaints and whose sites have sent spam
   in the last week, 25 of the 50 worst offenders are overseas. Topping
   the list: China, Korea, Thailand and Japan.


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  • FC: Will U.S. anti-spam laws work when spam now comes from overseas? Declan McCullagh (Feb 24)
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