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Gartner To Corporations: Don't Rely On CAN-SPAM

The recently-passed CAN-SPAM Act won't be of much help to enterprises, research firm Gartner said Thursday.

"Enterprises should not expect federal legislation to solve their inbound spam filtering problem," said several Gartner analysts in a joint statement. "CAN-SPAM will likely not change spammer behavior; however, it will cause increased scrutiny of all e-mail."

Rather than rely on the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM) to stem the spam flooding their networks, enterprises should continue to depend on "good e-mail management processes and the judicious use of spam-filtering technology."

The CAN-SPAM Act, which has been approved by both houses of Congress but has not yet been signed into law by President Bush, requires bulk e-mailers to label their message, include legitimate return addresses, provide a way to opt out of future mailings, and assigns both fines and criminal penalties to those who don't comply.

Gartner also encouraged enterprises to weigh the pros and cons of overly aggressive spam filtering, and said that although companies may be tempted to filter out all ADV-labeled e-mail, that tactic may block some important business messages, such as industry newsletters, from workers' inboxes.