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Study: Do-not-spam plan winning support

A new study finds that Americans overwhelmingly support a federal do-not-spam list similar to the do-not-call list that goes into effect this fall.

Americans overwhelmingly support a do-not-spam list, according to a new study released Wednesday by privacy consultant and antispam software seller ePrivacy Group.

The company's 2003 Consumer Spam Study found that 74 percent of consumers want a federal do-not-spam list similar to the do-not-call list that goes into effect this fall. What's more, 79 percent said they want laws to ban or limit spam.

The study surveyed about 1,090 adults in the United States asking them their thoughts about how to define spam and what they think can be done to quash it. It was released during a press conference by Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., sponsor of a bill that would create a do-not-spam list, one of several antispam measures currently in Congress.

"The e-mailing public has been at the mercy of spammers for way too long," Schumer said in a statement. "This survey confirms that people are screaming out to be empowered with the ability to stop the constant flow of unsolicited e-mails into their in-boxes."

Most people who responded to the survey said that current antispam measures, such as filtering and opting out, don't appear to work. In fact, 37 percent of consumers said they don't use the opt-out mechanism because they fear that it won't work or will confirm their e-mail address for spammers.

The study also found that people define spam as e-mail from a business that they do not have an existing business relationship with. A full 70 percent said it is acceptable to receive e-mail from companies they've done business with offline, while four out of five said it is acceptable for such companies to send them e-mails about order fulfillment.

Still, more than 31 percent of respondents said they would reject messages from nonprofits.

As for taking action against spammers, most respondents said they think civil lawsuits provide the best recourse. They also favored federal laws over antispam action at the state level.

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