Wednesday, January 28, 2004


Under the big anti-spam bill passed by Congress last year, the FTC is required to "establish a mark or notice" that must be included with any unsolicited e-mail advertising "adult" content. After much thoughtful consideration by well-paid FTC attorneys and staff, the Commission issued a proposed rule today prescribing the required mark:
The FTC proposes to adopt a rule prescribing the phrase “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT-CONTENT: ” as the mark or notice mandated by the CAN-SPAM Act. The proposed rule also would follow the intention of the CAN-SPAM Act to protect consumers from unwitting exposure to pornographic images in spam, by requiring this mark to be included both in the subject line of any e-mail message that contains sexually oriented material, and in the electronic equivalent of a “brown paper wrapper” in the body of the message. This “brown paper wrapper” would be what a recipient would initially see when opening a message containing sexually oriented material. It would include the prescribed mark or notice, certain other specified information, and no other information or images.
Since Congress made the FTC do this, I won't blame the commission for this fairly obvious waste of government resources. Still, you have to wonder what transpired at the meetings to decide "SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT-CONTENT" was the best notice to use. Apparently "GIRLS-GIRLS-GIRLS" wasn't enough warning.

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