With FTC set to hold first-ever “spam” summit this week in Washington, Schumer bill would also impose tough criminal and civil penalties on spammers
Schumer will also release a study showing New York was inundated with record levels of spam this year
US Senator Charles E. Schumer today unveiled comprehensive legislation to combat spam – unwanted bulk emails often sent from a fake or misleading email address. For the first time, mass-emailers will be subject to tough criminal and civil penalties – including jail time for serious repeat offenders. He also detailed a new study finding New York City residents receive 8.25 million junk emails a day and spend 4.2 million hours a year eliminating spam messages.
The Federal Trade Commission will be holding a special spam summit this week with AOL, Yahoo, Microsoft and other Internet companies on ways to control spam. Schumer will also discuss his legislation at that summit on Wednesday afternoon at 1:30PM.
“Spam is not just a little nuisance, it’s an epidemic, and getting rid of it is not as simple as hitting the delete button. Spam costs millions of dollars per year and hurts businesses large and small,” Schumer said. “As more and more communication is done through email, the cost of spam is only going to grow and grow. My plan blocks spam at the source and for the first time imposes serious penalties for the people and companies that send it.”
Email spam is any form of unsolicited email that users receive from commercial sources. Among the most common forms of spam are advertisements for online gambling services, pornography, herbal remedies or financial schemes, many of which are fraudulent in nature.
According to the Radicati Group, a California‑based market research group, 5.7 million people in New York State – 30% of the population – have access to email either through their home or workplace. This includes 2.75 million in New York City. In New York City, 1.51 million of these email accounts are business-related and 1.24 million are for personal use.