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State Cracks Down on SPAM

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California is cracking down on SPAM. The state will prohibit Internet advertisers from sending unsolicited e-mails, known as SPAM, under legislation signed last night by Governor Davis.

The legislation is the toughest of its kind in the nation, providing for fines up to $1 million.

The law targets not only the firms that package and send the unwanted e-mails to consumers, but also the companies whose products and services are being advertised. The measure covers all unsolicited commercial e-mail sent or received in California.

A San Francisco-based marketing firm, Ferris Research, estimates that unwanted e-mails cost U.S. companies nearly $9 billion in 2002 in lost productivity, consumption of communication bandwidth and drain of technical support.