A growing concern for busineses and individual using the email is spam. The term spam refers broadly to one or more unsolicited bulk email messgaes all haveing substantially identical content, which can be either commercial (such as an advertisement) or noncommercial (such as a joke or chain letter).
MessageLabs recently reported that 89.4 percent of email, in Canada, is spam. The global ratio hovers around 90 percent.
On May 25th, 2010 the Canadian government introduced Bill C-28 an updated version of Bill C-27 which died on the Order Paper due to the prorogation of Parliament on December 30, 2009.
The key violations of FISA are as follows:
- Spamming – sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages- is a violation. Commercial electronic messages without an opt-in or opt-out consent from the recipient is forbidden. Electronic messages must identify the person who sent the message and/or the person on whose behalf it is sent. The email message must contain accurate contact information for the sending parties as well as an unsubscribe mechanism. The law exempts messages that are solely an inquiry or applies to the commercial activity of the recepient. In other words the recepient might be interested in the content of the message and can opt-out of receiving any more mesages from the sender.
- The law prohibits “man in the middle attacks”, where electronic communication between two parties is intercepted and copied to some where other than where the sender thinks it is going.
- FISA prohibits the installation of spyware and malware that can turn a computer into a botnet for relaying spam with out the computer owner’s permission.
- At minimum every installation of a computer program must state the program’s function, purpose.
The Act (FISA) concludes a multi-year task force. The private sector task-force examined the issue of unsolicited commercial email or spam. Canada is the last G8 country to introduce an anti-spam law. The Bill competed first Reading on May 25, 2010