I really don't think the Nigerian prince is reading up on Canada's new anti-spam laws. Offshore erectile dysfunction pill providers are likewise not going to stop pumping out the spam. But the local real estate agent trying to reach a few dozen strong referrals a year will now have a low cost form of marketing scaled back by government in the process.
Most businesses in Canada rely on electronic messaging of one kind or another to run their operations and grow. The law affects any individual or business sending any commercial electronic messages (CEM), which are text, sound, voice, or images sent electronically that encourage the recipient to participate in a commercial activity.
In May 2010, then-Industry Minister Tony Clement introduced anti-spam legislation that he admitted was long overdue. Clement acknowledged that "Canada is seen as a haven for spammers because of the gaps in our current legislation...a place where spammers can reside and inflict their damage around the world." Yet last week, government officials disclosed that the best-case scenario for the law is that final regulations are released late this summer with the implementation of the law delayed until the fall of 2014.
For the past two days I've called attention to the shocking demands by business groups to legalize spyware by permitting the secret installation of computer programs to monitor activities of Canadians suspected a potential contravention of the law. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce's key concern is the very foundation of the law: opt-in consent.
Over the past couple of weeks, there have been a myriad of posts and articles criticizing Canada's anti-spam legislation. According to some posts -- primarily those by Barry Sookman -- the legislation will stop family members from sending commercial e-mail to each other, parents from promoting their children's lemonade stands, and discriminate against charities and schools. Is this true?