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Legislature passes bill taking aim at junk e-mail

March 5, 2002 

Junk e-mail will be easier to spot, and easier to get rid of, under a bill approved by the Utah Legislature Monday.

The law targets mass e-mailings, also called spam. The House concurred Monday on minor changes made to the bill in the Senate. It now goes to the governor for his signature.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake City, would require "spammers" to identify their advertising pitches with an "ADV" tag in the subject line of a message. A consumer could order a stop to further messages, triggering fines for violations.

The measure also would ban spammers from hijacking other people's e-mail addresses to make themselves appear familiar.

Anyone in Utah receiving banned spam could sue the sender, even if the message originated from out of state.

The penalties are $10 an e-mail, $25,000 per day of the violation or actual damages.

Nineteen states have enacted laws concerning unsolicited commercial e-mail.

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A3.

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