by Ben Worthen

CAN SPAM Act Year One

Feb 04, 20051 min

I’m a couple days late on this one, mainly because the news sent me into shock, but according to the New York Times the Can Spam Act hasn’t actually stopped spam. I mean, who would have guessed? Well, a lot of people actually, including the 83 percent of CIOs who said last summer that Can Spam had no effect on their IT departments.

The funniest thing in the NY Times article in my opinion is the way that it portrays Microsoft as the would-be spam slayer if only it weren’t for the system. Microsoft, as I wrote last fall, is almost single-handedly responsible for the current system.

Anti-spam legislation that actually worked would probably have to hold ISPs and makers of e-mail software accountable in some way. Microsoft, which owns Hotmail and MSN and makes Exchange and Outlook, doesn’t want that. With some law inevitable, Microsoft basically decided to focus on making it an ineffective one. So while Microsoft’s complaints about how hard it is to sue spammers may look good in print, the company has no one to blame but itself. If it cared enough to blame someone, that is.