Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/22/2003)

Title I: Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 - Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003 or the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 - (Sec. 102) Sets forth the determination of Congress that: (1) there is a substantial government interest in regulation of unsolicited commercial electronic mail (spam); (2) senders of spam should not mislead recipients as to the source or content of such mail; and (3) recipients of spam have a right to decline to receive additional spam from the same source.

(Sec 104) Amends the Federal criminal code to subject to a fine, imprisonment, or both any person who: (1) accesses a protected computer without authorization and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple commercial electronic mail messages from or through such computer; (2) uses a protected computer to relay or retransmit multiple messages, with the intent to deceive or mislead recipients or any Internet access service as to the origin of such messages; (3) falsifies header information in multiple messages and intentionally initiates the transmission thereof; (4) registers, with false identifying information, for five or more electronic mail accounts or online user accounts or two or more domain names and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple messages from such accounts or domain names; or (5) falsely represents the right to use five or more Internet protocol addresses and intentionally initiates the transmission of multiple messages from such addresses. Allows for: (1) higher penalties in the case of offenses committed in furtherance of any felony or if the defendant has previously been convicted for conduct involving the transmission of multiple messages or unauthorized access to a computer system; and (2) the forfeiture of property obtained from such an offense and equipment, software, or other technology used to commit such an offense. Directs the U.S. Sentencing Commission to review and amend sentencing guidelines to provide appropriate penalties for such violations.

Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) spam has become the method of choice for those who distribute pornography, perpetrate fraudulent schemes, and introduce viruses, worms, and Trojan horses into personal and business computer systems; and (2) the Department of Justice should use all existing law enforcement tools to investigate and prosecute those who send bulk commercial e-mail to facilitate the commission of Federal crimes.

(Sec. 105) Sets forth protections against spam that include: (1) a prohibition against false or misleading transmission information; (2) a prohibition against deceptive subject headings; (3) mandatory inclusion of a return address or a comparable mechanism in commercial electronic mail; (4) a prohibition against transmission of spam after objection (including a prohibition against transferring or releasing an email address after an objection); (5) mandatory inclusion in spam of information identifying the message as an advertisement or solicitation, notice of the opportunity to decline to receive further unsolicted messages from the sender, and the sender's physical address; (6) a prohibition against initiating transmission of spam to a protected computer, or assisting in the origination of such message through the provision of addresses, if the person knows or should have known that the recipient's address was obtained from an Internet website or proprietary online service that included a notice that the operator will not provide addresses for initiating unsolicited messages; (7) a prohibition against using automated means to register for multiple email accounts for the transmission of spam; and (8) a prohibition against relaying or retransmitting an unsolicited message that is unlawful under this section.

Requires a person, when initiating commercial electronic mail containing sexually oriented material, to provide labels warning of such content. Provides criminal penalties for violations.

(Sec. 106) Prohibits: (1) promoting a business by the use of email containing false or misleading transmission information; and (2) enforcement against third parties, with exceptions.

(Sec. 107) Confers enforcement powers for violations of this Act upon the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), designated Federal agencies, and States. Allows for the award of aggravated damages in certain cases. Permits a provider of Internet access service adversely affected by a violation of this Act to bring a civil action.

Sets forth a maximum civil penalty of $1 million for knowing and willful violations of this Act.

(Sec. 109) Directs the FTC to submit to: (1) specified congressional committees a plan and timetable for establishing a nationwide marketing Do-Not-E-mail registry; and (2) Congress a report of the effectiveness and enforcement of provisions of this Act.

(Sec. 111) Directs the FTC to submit to specified congressional committees reports that set forth: (1) a system for rewarding those who supply information about violations of this title; and (2) a plan for requiring spam to be identifiable from its subject line.

Title II: Realtime Writers Act - (Sec. 201) Training for Realtime Writers Act of 2003 - (Sec. 203) Directs the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to make competitive grants to eligible entities to promote training and placement of individuals, including individuals who have completed a court reporting training program, as realtime writers providing closed captioning in video programming. Sets forth priorities for the awarding of such grants. Limits grants to $1.5 million for a two-year period. Outlines application requirements and authorized uses of such funds.

(Sec. 206) Requires annual reports during such period from each eligible entity to the NTIA on the use of grant amounts and on best practices for increasing the number of individuals who are trained, employed, and retained in employment as realtime writers.

(Sec. 207) Authorizes appropriations.