Outside Legal Counsel PLC

Granholm, Feds: No Bad Emails

For Immediate Release | Jul 21, 2005

With the continual increase of unsolicited emails know as spam, the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Michigan is beginning to take action.

On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission charged seven companies with violating federal laws requiring warning labels on e-mail that contains sexually-explicit content.

The FTC filed federal lawsuits against three operations of the seven seeking civil penalties and a permanent bar on the illegal marketing. Settlements with four other operations have imposed $1.159 million in civil penalties.

At the beginning of July, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm announced the launch of Protect MI Child Registry, a state program designed to allow individuals and schools to register children’s email addresses. Once registered, companies have thirty days to cease advertising adult products or services to the registered email address.

In a statement on the Governor’s website, Granholm stated, “Michigan’s child protection registry is a great way parents can shield their children from inappropriate email.”

Others aren’t so sure.

“While we applaud the idea of protecting children from illegal products and services, this new Michigan program will not eliminate the spam reaching Michigan’s youth,” states Philip Ellison, a technology consultant of Hemlock, Michigan-based Quagmire Solutions, LLC.

“Parents need to monitor and review their child’s online computer usage by viewing their online history, checking names on Instant Messenger buddy lists, and just sitting down to see what your child is doing.”

Ellison suggests installing and using third-party software that monitors and reviews a variety of online activities. These programs offer numerous different filters that blocks inappropriate websites, keeps daily logs, and even filters e-mail and instant messages.

“The best defense is for parents to be an active observer.”

For a list of monitoring software, visit Quagmire Solutions’ website at www.quagmiresolutions.com

While government agencies continue to grapple with incoming electronic nuisances, a survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found email users are receiving slightly more spam in their inboxes than the year before.

The survey also found 53% of email users say spam has made them less trusting of email, while 67% of email users say spam has made being online unpleasant or annoying.


The above article was issued by an OLC attorney when he previously worked in corporate operations and communications. Because these articles are highly informative, they are provided as a service of this law firm.