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Legislative Memo: Do-Not-Call Registry for E-mail

This bill would expand the statewide registry that permits individuals to restrict telemarketing sales calls so as to place similar restrictions on unsolicited commercial electronic mail (UCEM). The NYCLU supports expansion of the registry as a reasonable, common sense way to address network congestion and other problems caused by UCEM.

Two broad strategies have emerged for controlling UCEM. One approach is to limit people’s ability to transmit UCEM. The other is to empower e-mail users to take affirmative measures to curtail UCEM and protect personal privacy. Government limitations on the transmission of UCEM have serious implications for free speech and should only be used as a last resort. For this reason measures that address the problem of unsolicited e-mail by enhancing personal privacy are preferable.

The NYCLU supports reasonable regulations that give individuals control over their personal information and the manner in which it is used. This proposal is consistent with this objective, and warrants support by the legislature.

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