Spam Wars: Initial Contact
I sent the following e-mail to Sen. Wayne Niederhauser and Rep. Sylvia Andersen today:
Dear Sen. Niederhauser and Rep. Andersen;
My name is Jesse Harris and I'm one of your constituents. As an IT professional, I've seen first-hand the kind of damage bulk unsolicited e-mail can cause to unprepared organizations. The investment made in trying to filter out this digital flotsam costs a lot of time, money and manpower to accomplish. (My own server consumes about 5% of its system resources fighting off spam.) Even highly accomplished professionals like Phil Windley, former CIO of Utah, can be crippled by these onslaughts. (See here: http://www.windley.com/archives/2007/08/my_mail_is_offline.shtml)
Federal legislation has done little to deter these spammers, only arming large ISPs and major corporations to be able to fight the onslaught. The costs and time associated with a federal suit just doesn't play well for Joe Average. What we need to combat this theft of system resources and frequent source of fraud and viruses is strong state legislation designed to send spam operators packing and let individuals pursue remedy in small claims court.
To this end, I've taken Utah's previous spam law, repealed in 2004, and updated it a bit to cover both unsolicited commercial e-mail and unsolicited bulk e-mail, the two types of messages currently accounting for nearly 90% of all e-mail. I have included it as a Word attachment for your consideration in the upcoming 2008 legislative session. I would strongly urge you to consider some kind of anti-spam statute as many other states offer some kind of protection against this deluge of viagra ads and mortgage offers.
Please let me know if either of you is willing to sponsor legislation similar to my proposal and thank you for your time and consideration in this matter.
(XXX) XXX-XXXX cell
(XXX) XXX-XXXX home
If neither of them is willing to sponsor the legislation, I'm going to start looking around for legislators that might have an interest in doing so. If you want to sent the proposal to your own legislators, download a copy of the proposed bill here.