Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing
An Act of Congress that established the United States' first national standards for the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) and requires the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce its provisions. The acronym CAN-SPAM derives from the bill's full name: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003. This is also a play on the usual term for unsolicited e-mail of this type, spam.
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (15 U.S.C. 7701, et seq., Public Law No. 108-187, was S.877 of the 108th United States Congress) was signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 16, 2003; the bill was sponsored in Congress by Senators Conrad Burns and Ron Wyden.
The CAN-SPAM Act is commonly referred to by anti-spam activists as the YOU-CAN-SPAM Act because the bill does not require e-mailers to get permission before they send marketing messages. It also prevents states from enacting stronger anti-spam protections, and prohibits individuals who receive spam from suing spammers. The Act has been largely unenforced; in 2004 less than 1% of spam complied with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.