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FTC says no to proposed do-not-e-mail registry

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Washington--The Federal Trade Commission told Congress Tuesday that a National Do-Not-Email registry would fail to reduce the amount of spam being transmitted and in some cases might increase it.

The comments were summarized in a report filed in response to a mandate imposed on the FTC last December by Congress under the CAN-SPAM Act. The FTC was required to develop a plan and a timetable for establishing such a registry, which had been championed by some constituents based on the popularity of the Do-Not-Call Registry created last year.

Rather than replicate that model, the FTC recommended the e-mail community focus anti-spam efforts on an e-mail authentication system that would prevent spammers from remaining anonymous and evading the law. A few authentication systems have been introduced in the last few months, and major ISPs and e-mail marketing service companies are either endorsing these or helping to develop alternative systems.

The FTC said Tuesday that it would sponsor a Fall 2004 Authentication Summit to encourage a thorough analysis of possible authentication systems and their swift deployment.

--Carol Krol

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