Help | Site Map
| Text size: - +
(Answer) (Category) SpamCop FAQ : (Category) General information about SpamCop : (Category) Non-SpamCop information :
Are there any laws permitting or restricting spam?
NO! Many spammers like to make reference to proposed laws (bills) that are basically pro-spam, particularly Senate Bill 1618. However, the spammers are (big surprise) lying. The laws are either fictional or never made it into law (thankfully). Currently, there are no laws that either allow or prohibit spam - except for some very weak state laws that attempt to prohibit it. ISPs are the only real policy makers currently, and they usually do a good job of prohibiting spam, but the exact rules are different depending on the spammer's ISP.

There is a wealth of information on bills relating to spam at the website of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE) CAUCE legislation page and at Thomas, an online legislative information database.

Some bills often referenced by spammers include:

S. 1618, title III
Passed in Senate, died in conference in 1998
H.R. 1910
Pending legislation in the 106th Congress.

The John Marshall Law School also has a good list of current laws and pending legislation on spam in the United States, at both federal and state levels
Actually, there IS spam law on the California books. Check it out for yourself:
Specifically, sections 17538.4 and 17538.45 deal with spam.
SpamCop should put up a disclaimer that says "Some anti-spam methods may not be effective when spam originates from California AND it is compliant with sections 17538.4 and 17538.45 of the California Business and Professions Code."
If a California ISP boots a client AND the client is being compliant with this code, the door has been left open for the client to sue the ISP.
Cheers, Lisa
Canada has some of the strongest anti-spam laws in the world requiring true opt-in, versus opt-out as CANSPAM is. See
The UK has something called the Data Protection Act of 1998, under which the collecting and disemination of your email address without your consent may be a crime, full text is at Norway just passed a law (at if you happen to read Norwegian, I don't) that was translated into english in n.a.n-a.e and is archived at The European Union and the United States are working together on proposed data privacy laws. And many things advertised via spam are also illegal- pirated software, child pornography, pyramid schemes, etc.
[Append to This Answer]