More Junk Faxes on the Way?

Senator Gordon H Smith (R-OR) has introduced a bill to the US Senate that proposed to amend section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 227), which currently prohibits unsolicited junk faxes.

The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 (S.714) proposed by the Senator is for the most part similar to the existing laws against junk faxes, but makes one important change.

The new bill will amend the existing law to allow exceptions to be made for unsolicited advertisements “from a sender with an established business relationship with the recipient”. As other laws designed to prevent spam emails or junk faxes in the past have shown, the vague definition of an “established business relationship” allows far too many exceptions to be useful.

One potential clue as to why this bill’s been proposed: 527 groups will be exempt under the amendment in the same way that unsolicited political group emails are exempt under the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

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