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Re: [anti-spam-wg] Any suggestions about how to deal with non co-operative ISP's and RIR's ?

  • From: Ricardo Cerqueira <ricardo.cerqueira@localhost
  • Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2007 12:06:20 +0100

On Wed, 2007-04-04 at 11:38 +0100, Clive D.W. Feather wrote:
> Esa said:
> > Even if they specify in their contract that unsolicited bulk e-mail is 
> > not allowed?
> > 
> > Contracts can be more restrictive than the law, you know.
> Not always.
> For example, UK law says that you have to right to opt out of any directory
> of subscribers *and any contractual term purporting to remove this right is
> automatically void*.

As another example, Portuguese law is also explicitly anti-SPAM, and
even distinguishes between individuals and companies; Any sort of
commercial e-mail can only be sent to an individual after an explicit
acceptance by the person (usually in the contracts' fineprint, or the
unchecked checkbox stating "By not checking this, I hereby accept blah
blah blah" that most people ignore), and even after that an opt-out must
be honored. Between companies the rules are a bit more relaxed (no
"opt-in" required, opt-out must be followed).

Reality is a bit different, though: That law came out on Jan 2005, IIRC,
but I've yet to see it being enforced (the costumers protection agency
gets a lot of inquiries, but there's no reaction that I know of). And...
from the ISPs standpoint, it's easier to cut off a customer if they
break the TOS (which he/she explicitly accepted when getting into a
contract with the ISP) than it is to cut them off because they "broke
the law" (law enforcement is the justice system's job, not the ISP's).

The end result is that we can't just rely on the law to decide a certain
customer can be disconnected: theoretically, he _may_ have a few hundred
thousand customers that did accept to get the "occasional promotional
messages", and that would be within the law; If push came to shove, he'd
have to prove those "subscriptions" in court, but it'd be too late. In
practice, it's just easier to add restrictions to the contracts.

Ricardo Cerqueira
Sonaecom ISP - Service & Platform Architectures
Green Park - R. General Firmino Miguel, 6B, piso -2
1600-300 Lisboa - Portugal