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06/30/2005 Archived Entry: "Michigan & Utah child email registries"
If you distribute an email newsletter, and it contains or links to any content which is even slightly questionable for children, then you had better stop....or learn how to comply with new laws coming into effect in Michigan and Utah (with other states close behind).
According to the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy, you could be in trouble if your email contains "unpermitted materials, links to unpermitted materials, or even links to sites which have information about the unpermitted materials" and you send it to someone on the minors email registries. Your only protection is to, once a month, check your email list against those registries....for a small fee per address checked.
Under the battle cry of "Pure children!", the states are at one stroke raising more funds for their treasuries, clamping down more on the free flow of information on the Internet, and eviscerating whatever privacy you've promised your subscribers. (You have to send them your email address list for checking.)
These laws won't stop foreign spam or spam from zombie PCs. They will mean cash from the large email marketers; and will simply stop small compaines and non-profit organizations from distributing email newsletters. Read Declan McCullagh's article for just some of the ramifications. —brad