Can-Spam law was enacted in USA in 2003 in order to regulate the commercial bulk email messages. It is illegal to send commercial bulk email to email users without their explicit permission. Hence one can not buy or rent email address lists and blast emails with commercial messages. There are several other restrictions and requirements that need to be followed while sending email messages even with the users' permission. Similar or more stringent regulations are in force in other countries such as UK.
The government levies hefty levies for violators of the CAN-SPAM regulations. Deceptive commercial email also is subject to laws banning false or misleading advertising.
This link point to the Federal Trade Commission's Facts for Business information web page.
Here is the summary of requirements of the law:
It bans false or misleading header information
It prohibits deceptive subject lines
It requires that your email give recipients an opt-out method
It requires that commercial email be identified as an advertisement and include the sender's valid physical postal address
This link provides information about SPAM prevention and protecting personal information for the Consumers.
This link provides information on CAN-SPAM law and honoring unsubscribe claims to the Businesses.
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