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United States – Federal Trade Commission

On 1 January 2004, the Can-Spam Act, which stands for “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act” came into effect in the United States. This law puts specific requirements on senders of commercial e-mail and places enforcement in the hands of the Federal Trade Commission and State Attorney's General
While many U.S. states have also passed laws addressing spam, they are pre-empted by CAN-SPAM except to the extent to which they address falsity or deception in commercial email messages. CANSPAM applies to commercial electronic messages, but not to messages relating to transactions and existing business relationships. It requires all commercial electronic messages to include an indication that the message is a solicitation, opt-out instructions and the physical address of the sender. False or misleading information in commercial email is forbidden, including in headers, subject lines and the message text. ISPs are exempt from liability under the CAN-SPAM Act. 
Further, the Act provides a private right of action for ISPs. Violators of the Act can be fined up to US 250 per violation, to a cap of US 2 million, for non-wilful noncompliance; and up to US 6 million for intentional violations, plus unlimited punitive damages for fraud and abuse. In the most severe cases, prison sentences of up to five years are available as penalties.

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Updated : 2011-04-04