The $10 million spam fine

On July 1, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) took effect. As a result, businesses can be fined up to $10 million Canadian and individuals can be fined up to $1 million Canadian for sending unsolicited emails (spam). Additional measures are scheduled to go into effect in January of 2015 and July of 2017. Visit http://fightspam.gc.cafor more information.

Andrew Clarke

While I’m opposed to spam as much as anyone else, I don’t think this type of legislation is the solution. For one thing, I don’t think the majority of spam originates in Canada. For another, I don’t see how such a law can be enforced against non-Canadian citizens. In my opinion, the answer lies in the hands (or servers) of the major internet service providers (ISPs). At a minimum, they have the ability to stop spam that originates outside their networks from continuing to our inboxes. I personally believe they could do a lot more. The conspiracy theorist in me believes they don’t do anything because they benefit financially (ie someone benefits from all that bandwidth). Of course, I could be completely wrong. What do you think?

The estimated cost of spam has been said to be anywhere from $20 billion per year to $50 billion dollars per year depending on the source. This cost includes everything from software development to combat the problem to lost productivity. By comparison, the spammers generate somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million per year. It sounds to me like the average consumer is getting the short end of the stick.

Over the years, there have been many suggestions about how to combat spam. Taxing has been suggested, but I’m certain the spammers would find a way around that. Going after the financial institutions that process their payments is another. One of the most unorthodox suggestions has been to fight spam with spam. Fill their inboxes with so many fake orders that it is no longer profitable. I, of course, like this idea best.

How do you combat spam, or do you just hit delete and ignore it like most of use? We would love to hear from you.

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