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US government to go after e-mail spammers

February 4, 2002

The US government is planning to go after "spammers" who swamp internet users with deceptive e-mail offers.

The Federal Trade Commission is expected to announce as early as next week that it will use existing laws banning false of deceptive trade practices to go after spammers.

Pyramid schemes, get-rich-quick opportunities, chain letters and other common online scams will be targeted, along with e-mails offering consumers the ability to opt out of their mailing lists only to bombard them with more junk e-mail when they respond.

But spammers are not likely to face large fines from FTC actions, which are limited to forcing companies to give back profits or pursue “structural” remedies.

Internet users received an average of 571 pieces of unsolicited commercial email in 2001, a number expected to rise to nearly 1,500 by 2006, according to research by Jupiter Media Metrix.


Editor: Tamsin McMahon. Copyright © 2000-2002 Europemedia.


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