Final Word from Tuesday, December 30, 2003





Most of the unwanted email that clogs in-boxes is from a small number of international mailers who send out millions of pieces of junk every day. IT Minister Vladimír Mlynář is working on a bill for imposing an absolute ban on unsolicited commercial email, but the law would apply only to Czech entities and would have no effect on the vast majority of spammers. Mlynář told Czech Radio that his bill is similar to the one signed into law this month in the U.S., but the U.S. law in fact allows spam that is from clearly identifiable mailers and that gives the recipient a way to "opt out" of future mailings. Spam is used responsibly by numerous legitimate businesses in the CR, including airlines, hotels and publishers (including the Final Word). Mlynář's bill would kill a highly effective marketing tool and provide very little protection against the real villains.

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