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E-mailing and “Spamming”

Although Congress has failed to enact any legislation specifically regulating unsolicited, bulk, commercial e-mailing, many laws have been passed at the state level. In July 1997, Nevada became the first state to enact an anti-spam law. The following states have also passed spam laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. The statutes in these states are variously worded and provide a wide range of protection against unsolicited, commercial e-mail. The anti-spam laws in the following states require “opt-out” instructions, and most also require that the opt-out requests be honored: California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Tennessee. The anti-spam legislation in the following states applies to e-mails that are delivered to a resident of that state via a provider’s facilities or equipment located in that state: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia. The anti-spam legislation in Delaware and Rhode Island applies to e-mails originating outside the state if the recipient is located in that state and the sender is or should have been reasonably aware that the recipient is a resident of that state. North Carolina’s law applies to e-mails sent into or within the state. In Washington and West Virginia, the anti-spam laws apply if a message is sent from within the state or if the sender knows that the recipient is a resident of that state. The following states require unsolicited, bulk, commercial e-mail to have certain labels in the subject line, such as “ADV” (advertisement) or “ADLT” (adult): California, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

Inside E-mailing and “Spamming”