Posts Tagged ‘bill c-27’

Anti-Spam Bill Raises Concerns

May 12th, 2009

On May 8, 2009, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA) received a second reading in the House of Commons. The Government of Canada had introduced the bill on April 24th. The intention of the ECPA is “to deter the most dangerous forms of spam, such as identity theft, phishing and spyware, from occurring in Canada” and to “help drive spammers out of Canada.” The bill also contains provisions intended to combat spyware by prohibiting the installation of computer programs without the consent of the computer’s owner. While the objective of the legislation is laudable, the bill’s overly broad language could circumscribe legitimate business-to-business marketing and impact software companies’ ability to deliver upgrades and patches to customers. Section 6(1) of the ECPA states that “No person shall send or cause or permit to be sent to an electronic address a commercial electronic message unless (a) the person to whom the message is sent has consented to receiving it, whether the consent is express or implied; and (b) the message complies [with specified formalities].” Unlike other international anti-spam legislation, the prohibition against unsolicited commercial messages in the ECPA is not limited to messages sent with some element of fraud or misleading information, sent with an “intent to deceive or mislead,” sent to addresses that were gathered using “automated means,” or sent in bulk.