Federal anti-spam bill passes House

There’s a lot more unpacking to do before we understand the full potential impact of the CAN-SPAM Act (of 2003?) that just passed the House
(having passed the Senate previously, by unanimous vote). 
One of the most obviously relevant elements, off the bat: the fact that the
bill
says it pre-empts the 30-some state laws that combat spam, including
the California law meant to take effect on January 1, 2004 (and the
subject of legal challenge).  Section 108 of the bill reads, in
relevant part: “This title supersedes any statute, regulation, or rule
of a State or political subdivision of a State that expressly regulates
the use of electronic mail to send commercial messages, except to the
extent that any such statute, regulation, or rule prohibits falsity or
deception in any portion of a commercial electronic mail message or
information attached thereto.”  (Sec. 108(b)(1))  As a general matter, a federal law
to fight spam is a better idea than state laws, but one continues to
have the persistent problem of off-shore spammers and an intractable
enforcement problem.

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