RMN’s Blog

canada's anti-spam law

Why Canada’s Anti-Spam Law Might Fail

Date: September 22, 2014

No one likes junk mail. Most of us have a filter on our emails to make life easier by keeping the spam out of our sight until we want to see it (which is never). Starting July 1st, Canadians now have to option to take spammers to court and sue for millions of dollars.

 

The new law is designed to protect Canadians from the overwhelming amount of spam and unwanted advertisements they receive. The companies, nonprofits, and charities will have to prove in court they received consent to send the spam to your inbox. Starting in 2017, the spammers will have to obtain an “express consent” before they are allowed to email you any ads. Any individual who violates this law will be fined up to 1 million Canadian dollars ($937,400 U.S. dollars). If you are a company, the fine is 10 million Canadian dollars ($9.374 million U.S. dollars).

No Spam

 

The reason for the new interest in junk mail relates to the fact that Canada (and Europe) is cracking down on citizen’s privacy on the Internet.

 

Great idea, right?

 

On the down side, the laws only apply to business within Canada, so international businesses can keep spamming your inbox away. This will cut down the amount of spam for Canadians by about 2%. The anti-spam law might be more effective if the United States would agree to censor American email spam advertisements, but the Supreme Court denied it because of First Amendment violations. The First Amendment protects advertisers right to get their message across to potential customers, even if no one wants to hear it.

 

More countries might adopt similar anti-spam laws for protect their citizens, but as long as the First Amendment is in place, it will be difficult to keep all American companies from spamming email addresses worldwide, and will not make much of a difference.
What do you think of Canada’s anti-spam law? Do you think there’s a way to get around the First Amendment for the United States to make an anti-spam law also?