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Canada Prepares to Fight against Spammers, Anti-Spam Bill in Senate

An anti-spam bill is under the consideration of the Canadian Senate that is likely to include jail term and fines for spammers on the approval of the Senate.

The anti-spam bill, known as S-220, and titled as "An Act Respecting Commercial Electronic Messages (the anti-spam Act)" would allow the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to refuse, filter and block spam e-mails. The S-220 is proposing to consider the phishing attacks also.

In his speech on February 5, 2009, Senator Yoine Goldstein said that the objective of the proposed bill is to reduce spam as it is impossible to completely eliminate it, as reported by itbusiness.ca on February 17, 2009.

Goldstein stated that Canada is the only G8 nation which is still not having the anti-spam law. In fact, the country is in dire need of this legislation. Lately, in absence of anti-spam legislation in Canada, a Canadian resident Adam Guerbuez, 32, was ordered by a US federal court to compensate US$ 873 Million to the social-networking site Facebook for flooding users with sexually-explicit spam e-mails.

On the other hand, spam increases the expenses of ISPs. Highly sophisticated equipments are required to cope with spam and also, it creates a lot of inconvenience to the users and hinders the e-commerce, thus it is triggers all the related problems, as per Goldstein.

With the struggle against spammers becoming increasingly difficult due to their remote locations and operation via infested systems, Goldstein suggests that the people hiring the spammers should be held equally responsible.

The Senator gave an example that if a user receives an e-mail from Timbuktu (Mali) to purchase Viagra from a distributor based in Toronto, then the Canadian business mentioned in the spam would be evenly guilty as per the newly purposed law.

Goldstein's anti-spam bill proposes penalties ranging from a fine of up to $500,000 or a jail-confinement of two years to $1.5 Million or a jail-term of five years in case of repeated spamming offences. The bill also proposes that the involved company may have to pay an additional fine equalizing the profits made by a spamming operation.

Related article: Canada - A Major Stimulator of Spam, Says Cisco

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