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Governor Perdue Signs Georgia Slam Spam E-mail Act

Tuesday, April 19, 2005  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774


            ATLANTA – On the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law one of his legislative initiatives for the 2005 General Assembly – the Georgia Slam Spam E-mail Act (SB62).  Governor Perdue was joined by State Senator David Shafer, the bill's sponsor, and EarthLink President and Chief Executive Officer Garry Betty. 

            “Thanks to the Georgia Slam Spam E-mail Act, we can start cleaning up spam in this state and put our citizens back in control of their online lives,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “This is a tough anti-spam bill and I'm ready to put it to work protecting Georgians.”

SB62 provides serious penalties for the use of false or misleading practices, such as forging headers, using misleading subject headlines or falsely stating that the information in the e-mail was requested.  Sending spam to Georgians from anywhere in the United States will be punishable as a felony where spammers:

  • Send a high volume of spam, such as more than 10,000 messages in any 24 hour time period; or
  • Generate more than $1,000 in revenue from a single spam message or more than $50,000 from all spam transmitted to any single Internet Service Provider (ISP); or
  • Where the defendant knowingly uses a minor to assist in the transmission of spam.

Deceptive emails without these factors will be punished as a misdemeanor.  Criminal penalties for a felony include a fine of not more than $50,000.00 or imprisonment of not more than five years, or both.  For a misdemeanor, penalties include a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months, or both. 

SB62 enables ISP's, such as EarthLink, and domain-owners to bring civil charges against the spammers for fraudulent and deceptive e-mail.  The act does not limit or regulate in any way the sending of legitimate advertisements through e-mail.

            The convenience and efficiency of e-mail are threatened by an increasing amount of deceptive commercial e-mails.  The senders of these e-mails engage in a variety of fraudulent and deceptive practices to hide their identities, disguise the true source of their e-mails, and evade the consequences of their actions.  This law will help protect Georgia businesses and citizens from the burden of deceptive commercial e-mails, including the economic burden that results from the false and fraudulent nature of deceptive commercial e-mail.