Georgia Anti-Spam Law Raises Questions of Enforcability

April 20, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - Garry Betty, president and chief executive officer of ISP and web hosting services provider EarthLink, today attended Governor Sonny Perdue's signing of the Georgia Slam Spam E-mail Act.

In comments praising the legislation, Betty applauded the efforts of Governor Perdue and the Georgia General Assembly.

"The Georgia Slam Spam E-mail Act is an important step forward in the fight against fraudulent and unwanted commercial e-mail," said Garry Betty, EarthLink president and chief executive officer. "This law gives EarthLink and other businesses a new weapon in our arsenal to stop spam and protect Internet users against offensive and misleading commercial e-mail messages. We support the Act's penalties and its enforcement provisions."

The new law punishes those who send email to Georgia residents from anywhere in the United States where the email forges email headers, uses misleading subject headlines or falsely states that the information in the e-mail was requested.

The law will be punishable as a felony when spammers send more than 10,000 messages in any 24 hour time period, make more than $1,000 in revenue from a single spam message or more than $50,000 from all spam transmitted to any single Internet Service Provider and punishable as a misdemeanor if the spam does not meet the above requirements.

Penalties for a felony can include either a fine of up to $50,000 and up to a five year jail term or both jail time and a fine in combination. The fine for misdemeanor spam is up to $1,000 with a 1 year jail term also possible.

While it is nice to see the government attempting to pitch in on the spam problem the new law begs the question of enforcement.

Will Georgia state police really be able to bring out of state offenders to justice effectively?

Hopefully the state will provide the infrastructure to law enforcement officials to observe and enforce the law. Otherwise the new law is little more than a speed limit sign with no patrol cars or radar vans to enforce it.

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