If you enjoy horror and comedy all rolled into one, you'll love this IT news story: "Get ready for 'Son of Can-Spam'" (http://www.techrepublic.com/2010-1009_11-5892166.html).
News.com writer Declan McCullagh discusses the first federal law regulating unsolicited junk e-mail, Can-Spam. According to McCullagh, "The poorly named Can-Spam law probably increased the volume of spam clogging our e-mail clients by zapping state laws such as one in California that had mandated a stricter 'opt-in' standard for unsolicited electronic mail." Can-Spam sounds like a perfectly appropriate name to me. Can't-Spam, on the other hand, would have missed the mark.
Here's the scary part: "Now politicians are promising to enact new laws against spyware. It might be time to start worrying again." There are currently five spyware-related bills in Congress, and three of them "would explicitly override state laws, even if the state laws are more consumer-friendly than the federal law." The hard truth is that many of them are.
So, what does McCullagh suggest? "A better solution might sound like a radical one: for Congress to do nothing." All in favor say "Aye!"
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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.