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Can-Spam didn't, survey says

A survey due out Monday will report that the federal antispam law did little to deter spammers.

Paul Festa Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Paul Festa
covers browser development and Web standards.
Paul Festa
Nearly a year after its passage, the federal Can-Spam law has done little to curb spam, according to a year-end report due Monday.

MX Logic, an antispam company, said its surveys for the year showed widespread and flagrant disregard for the U.S. law that went into effect Jan. 1.

"The Can-Spam law has been in place for a year now, and according to our studies we've seen very little compliance," said Scott Chasin, chief technology officer of MX Logic in Denver. "The real benefit of Can-Spam is to the service providers, giving them the ability to go after those who send spam."

Large Internet service providers have indeed used the law to file suits against spammers. Microsoft this month filed seven suits alleging Can-Spam violations.

Can-Spam regulated how people and organizations could send unsolicited commercial e-mail, but 97 percent of such e-mail sent this year violated the law, according to MX Logic.

Spam made up 77 percent of e-mail traffic as a whole over the course of the year, MX Logic said. That's not even as bad as antispam company Postini's estimate that legitimate e-mail plummeted to 12 percent from 22 percent of e-mail traffic in 2004.

Despite the federal law, the U.S. dwarfed its nearest rival, South Korea, in being the origin of 42 percent of all spam this year.