Internet service providers would be handed the role of sheriff in the war against spammers, if proposed US legislation to punish junk emailers is passed.
The bill, which is being introduced by State Assembly members Gary Miller and Jim Cunneen, entitles ISPs to formulate a policy of their choice covering ?unsolicited commercial email?, which could be a complete ban on such mail. Spammers ignoring this warning could then be hauled into court by ISPs and fined up to $15,000.
The bill is an amended version of one introduced earlier this year by Miller, which would have given any consumer the right to sue spammers for unwanted email. Under the new proposal, only service providers would have the legal right to sue in court.
Meanwhile, America Online has claimed first blood in its anti-spamming strategy of shaming offenders out of existence. Following its decision to publish details of its 10 most wanted spammers, one of those targeted - Springdale Publications of California - has agreed to stop sending spam and pay AOL an undisclosed sum of cash in exchange for an agreement by the online service not to sue it.
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