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Explicit Spam Soon Will Include Warning

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Starting May 19, spam that contains sexually graphic material must include the warning: “SEXUALLY EXPLICIT” in the subject line, or senders could face federal charges and fines.


Congress passed the Can-Spam Act in 2003. It attempts to reduce the barrage of spam clogging consumers' computers. As part of the law, Congress directed the FTC to adopt a rule requiring a mark or notice to be included with explicitly sexual spam to make it easier to filter.


The subject-line notice is also supposed to be shown in the actual message. This “brown-paper wrapper” is what consumers will first see when they open a message that contains sexually oriented material. This initial presentation will include the prescribed notice, other FTC-required information and nothing else.


The rule also requires disclosure of the sender's valid physical postal address. The disclosure must be clear and conspicuous.


For more information about the act and the rule, go to www.ftc.gov

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