Are SPAM Emails Legal?

Without question, spam is extremely annoying. No one wants to receive unwanted junk mail, or have it clog up their inbox. Nothing is more irritating that discovering you have 5 new e-mails, only to find that all of them are unsolicited messages and not the important email from a friend you’ve been anxiously waiting for.

Due to the fact that spam is so frustrating, and can be potentially harmful as some of these messages do contain viruses, you may be wondering if spam is illegal. Unfortunately, the answer is both yes and no. What this means is that spam you receive that clearly endorses an illegal service or product is against the law, but it is not illegal for someone to simply send electronic junk mail.

Although, there is thought of making laws regarding spam more strict, there are problems. For starters, it is difficult to identify spam. Though it is often recognized as unsolicited electronic mail, it cannot be roped in with the same laws that apply to telemarketers. Another issue is it can be challenging to reprimand those who offend because they can be very difficult to find. Spammers are very creative on how they send bulk messages to email addresses, making it complicated for the junk mail to be traced back to them. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for a spammer to mask their identity by using another e-mail subscriber’s address to make it appear as if the message was sent by that individual.

Many people believe that spam, regardless of its purpose, should be prohibited. However, direct marketing industry professionals are concerned that if spam is made illegal, this would dramatically limit their ability to effectively market their services and products online. Additionally, many Internet users want the government to interfere with the World Wide Web as little as possible. It is believed better that commercial carriers agree on rules than have the government step in and create rigid laws. Furthermore, the net is used by people from countries across the globe, so if one country makes spam illegal, all the spammer has to do is move abroad.

Thus, in most cases, if you are receiving spam, you will not have any luck in pursuing legal action against the spammer. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do all you can to find out more about the person sending the junk and prevent them from bombarding your email with messages you don’t want. Thus, be sure to run a reverse email lookup on the sender to find out more about them, and also notify the sender’s ISP (Internet Service Provider) about the spam, as most ISPs will take action against those who use their services for disreputable purposes.