Bill, all very good points, indeed.
But while the US-centric issues are not lost on me, it
certainly seems that the majority of spammage originates from US
ISPs. Perhaps this is based in some way on the free-wheeling
entrepreneurial nature of US commerce or on the increasing tide
of social indifference. But I digress...
I am talking very specifically about US federal law, applicable
to US citizens. The Internet is indeed a global phenomenon but
when one leads, others may surely follow.
I am not advocating laws which restrict uses of commercial
networks. I am advocating restraint over those things that
others can do to me which cost me money and thus, are theft.
Federal law already (I believe) restricts what use others may
enjoy of my resources without my permission. FAX and cellular
phones cannot be used for purposes of advertising.
Finally, what I am suggesting is perhaps a little more subtle
than grotesque legal bludgeoning. Consider the potential
impact that highly visible federal law would have on those who
would consider this an effective means to market to others using
resources for which they do not pay.
One argument I have seen is that all we need do is get a single
AUP to which all ISPs will adhere. When such a thing comes into
existance, I believe it will be far too difficult to read the
wonderful news, amid the 5000 spams waiting in my mail queue.
I believe the chestnut about herding cats might have originated
with the idea that we can get all ISPs to agree on any one thing.