[Posted] Wednesday, May 30, 2001
An Open Letter to the Congress Of the United States
I am posting this on the internet in hopes that you actually use what you are hoping to legislate.
To simplify this for you, I am hoping that you are actually reading this.
According to this Report most of you folks don't even read your email.
A bill has been introduced into the House of Representatives, H.R. 718, Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2001 
Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail. Exactly what part of Unsolicited are you having a problem with?
Using the fine folks at Merriam Webster Online, we find the following entry for solicit
1 a : to make petition to :
ENTREAT b : to approach with a request or plea
2 : to urge (as one's cause) strongly
3 a : to entice or lure especially into evil
b : to proposition (someone) especially as or in the character of a prostitute
4 : to try to obtain by usually urgent requests or pleas
1 : to make solicitation : IMPORTUNE
2 of a prostitute : to offer to have sexual relations with someone for money
For un- we find
1 : do the opposite of : reverse (a specified action)
2 a : deprive of : remove (a specified thing) from : remove
b : release from
c : remove from : extract from : bring out of
d : cause to cease to be
Now that you have a grasp of the word Unsolicited, Lets cut to the chase.
H. R. 718
As amended March 28, 2001
A BILL To protect individuals, families, and Internet service providers from unsolicited and unwanted electronic mail.
Warms the cockles of my little heart. Sounds good so far.
SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS AND POLICY.
(a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:
(1) There is a right of free speech on the Internet.
How did you figure this one out? Did you count the 4 billion pages out here? It's also a Global thing, which is a bit bigger than the United States.
(2) The Internet has increasingly become a critical mode of global communication and now presents unprecedented opportunities for the development and growth of global commerce and an integrated worldwide economy. In order for global commerce on the Internet to reach its full potential, individuals and entities using the Internet and other online services should be prevented from engaging in activities that prevent other users and Internet service providers from having a reasonably predictable, efficient, and economical online experience.
So unless we pave the information superhighway with billboards, advertisements and interactive media units, the internet has no place for communication on any other level?
(3) Unsolicited commercial electronic mail can be an important mechanism through which businesses advertise and attract customers in the online environment.
I say again, Exactly what part of Unsolicited are you having a problem with? Who wrote this line for you? The Direct Marketing Association? The United State Postal Service?
The whole point of the bill was to stop Unsolicited commercial electronic mail. So here you are giving it importance and saying it's not a bad thing.
In the original Legislation there was a monetary penalty. (ii) $500 for each such violation, not to exceed a total of $50,000. Let me suggest that you put it back and remove the cap. Fine them into bankruptcy.
And the rest of the bill as written drones on and on and on.
If a Commercial entity wants to advertise their goods and services, they can put up a website just like thousands of businesses currently have.
If they are any good they will have people asking them for more information.
If they are any good they will make money and may help you folks on Capital Hill get to work on other issues,
like privacy on the internet,
the last mile problem for broadband connections,
re-writing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act,
kicking ICANN in the ass for an .xxx Top level Domain to segregate Adult Content
(making the Child Online Protection Act a good thing rather than the acrimonious legal football it is currently),
spend a few more bucks on health,
get more folks connected and answer your email when we write.
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