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Antispam bill gets a second go

WASHINGTON--A pair of U.S. senators are trying once again to enact a federal law restricting spam. On Thursday, Conrad Burns, R-Mont., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., reintroduced a bill that they first drafted in 1999, which would make it a federal crime to use a false address when sending unsolicited commercial e-mail.

As spam has piled up in in-boxes, interest in the topic on Capitol Hill has increased, and many observers predict that Congress will approve some antispam bills by the end of 2004. But the effect of federal legislation may be limited because a high percentage of spam originates overseas, outside the reach of U.S. law.