CAN-SPAM Act is 5 Years Old

So it’s been 5 years since the CAN-SPAM act was introduced. Yet my inbox is still flooded with spam (I have to use 2 different spam-filtering services to keep it from being overwhelming – and even then stuff still gets through).

An article on Slashdot asks the obvious question: what went wrong?

“Five years ago, the US tech industry, politicians, and Internet users were wringing their hands over the escalating problem of spam. This prompted Congress to pass a landmark anti-spam bill known as the CAN-SPAM Act in December 2003. Fast forward five years. The number of spam messages sent over the Internet every day has grown more than 10-fold, topping 164 billion worldwide in August 2008. Almost 97% of all e-mails are spam, costing US ISPs and corporations an estimated $42 billion a year. What went wrong here?”

A very good question. The answers, of course, are obvious to those who understand how spam really works (and how often it’s obfuscated so you can’t tell who really sent it), coupled with how hard it is to actually prosecute someone under the CAN-SPAM Act.