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Tech Industry

California spam bill passes Senate

A California antispam bill passed a Senate committee on Wednesday, a first step toward the passage of a law that would give people the right to sue spammers. The bill, introduced by Sen. Debra Bowen, a Democrat, allows any Californian who receives an unsolicited ad via e-mail to sue the sender in court for $500 per violation; and judges can triple the fine if they find that the sender willfully and knowingly violated the California ban. The bill, which cleared the Senate Business and Professions Committee on a bipartisan 5-1 vote, also requires courts to impose an additional $250 civil penalty per spam to be used to fund high-tech crime task forces throughout the state. Under current law, only a city attorney, district attorney, the state Attorney General and ISPs can go after spammers in court.