SPAM is an ugly part of life. Sure we hate it, but it’s not like it’s illegal or anything. Sure we can make sure it never gets to your inbox, but it’s not like we can stop it at the source.
Canada seems to think we can.
Recently, an anti-SPAM law has gone on the books in Canada. The intent of the new law is, according to the Industry Canada website, to “deter the most damaging and deceptive forms of spam from occurring.” Canadian officials passed the law with the goal to reduce the amount that needs to be spent on managing SPAM, reduce spoofing attempts to cut down on email fraud and limit the spread of email-borne viruses. Similar legislation was passed in Australia with mixed results, the greatest effect being that many spammers, particularly those with downright offensive content, closed their Australia offices altogether.
We’ve talked about the many problems of losing emails to overactive SPAM filters before, and that’s one of the problems that this new law is attempting to address. One of the goals being that without the sheer amount of SPAM existing, SPAM filters won’t need to work overtime to filter it all. However, let’s be one of the few to point out that as long as you have a SPAM filter that sorts mail by keyword, you’ll always run the risk of losing an important message.
Sure getting rid of SPAM great concept, and you know that no one is a bigger enemy of SPAM then yours truly, but with anti-fraud laws on the books already, there is a wonder of how much more such laws will help crack down on email junk and malicious mail. And that’s to say nothing of regular old email fraud, which we’d like to point out, is already illegal up north.
And of course there’s the fact that this law will not have an effect on the constant stream of BACN that fills your inbox. Sure this stuff can get annoying at times, but you did ask for it. Often times you even want it (although perhaps not at the moment.)
And actually that opens up an entirely new can of worms. See, the new law doesn’t apply to “the legitimate collection and compiling of lists of email addresses” meaning that if you’re on an email list, you can still receive unsolicited mail. And according to the website, political parties and charities that engage Canadians through email are not subject to CASL if the messages don’t sell or promote a product.
So it’s a step in the right direction, but whether it will have an actual effect on the amount of SPAM Canadians see on a daily basis is yet to be seen. One thing’s for certain though, if you really want to completely eradicate SPAM from your inbox there’s only one solution.