A new way to cut down on political spam

Political spam isn't a huge problem, true. I've written about Democrat Joe Lieberman and Libertarian Aaron Russo spamming, and Republicans have as well. Spamming even has been blessed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

But a new set of proposed regulations from the Federal Election Commission could help cut down on the amount of political spam that does exist. Without boring you about the details of election law, suffice it to say that the FEC wants to "require disclaimers on political 'spam'" sent to e-mail addresses that a candidate or campaign purchases.

This opens up a rare opportunity for the federal government to do something useful. If the FEC is going to require disclaimers, why not require that "[POLSPAM]" be placed in the Subject: line? Then those of us who detest spam could easily filter any nettlesome vote-for-me solicitations into the trash.

Tech Culture
About the author

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.


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