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Spam: The S.1618 Hoax

White house
The U.S. Senate (indirectly) gives a hand to spammers
It has been very popular to add a clause to spam mail which refers to Bill S.1618, section 301 or similar. This Bill was actually a law proposal, but - luckily - was never accepted into law. The Bill died in the House of Representatives. If you're interested, the complete text is here.

Moreover, the proposal was for the Senate of the U.S., not for institutions such as the 'Base Normalization Congress' or other (official sounding) names.

Still, without having been actually voted into law, this proposal lent an aura of legitimacy to millions of commercial e-Mails all over the world. There's some irony in the fact that these spammers try to use the laq to protect themselves...

¡Remember - There is no such law!

On a sidenote, this proposal, and its clauses are called 'Murkogramas', in allusion to its promotor, Senator Frank Murkowski, and a clear wordplay referring to their contents...

Certainly, references to paragraph (a)(2)(C), and other tricks are impressive. Only in one case, the authors of the mail actually mention that it is a mere proposal.

Using the same philosophy, some companies found a similar Law, which seems to have been passed in Spain, in June 2002, which, though it authorizes the sending of publicity, it does so only if the destinatary previously accepted the reception of this material (eg. by subscription)

I've added a list of examples of these (false) declaration, where you can admire the originality of the distributors of electronic spam, to find variations one a theme.

As always - Don't click on any of the links in a mail containing these advisories. Most of them are just designed to 'harvest' your e-mail address, and then send even more spam.

Más información sobre spam S.1618

The original text of the Law Proposal
The complete text of the Bill, which was actually approved by the Senate but then died on its return to the House of Representatives.

House commerce committee packs anti-spam bill hearing with marketers, shuts out consumer advocates
A description of the the U.S. Senate tactics, by CAUCE, one of most prestigious anti-spam organizations

Statement in Congressional Record by Sen. Frank Murkowski
Frank Murkowski's speech, which 'disguises' the proposal as a solution to all the 'bad things' caused by Spam (and others).

SPAM and the Law
Excellent article on the spam laws, and their state.

Spamming ed art. 1618, par. 111 del 105? Congresso USA
An italian article on the U.S. Law proposals

O falso decreto do spam e o falso congresso dos spammers
Portuguese article on spam

S. 1618 - Protection of Consumers Against "Slamming"
An apparent intent to re-introduce the proposal, or at least hide it. This page originally contained it's complete text, now it has changed its contents!
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(c) John Coppens ON6JC/LW3HAZ mail