RICHMOND, Va. – With consumers fed up with the bombardment of junk bulk email known as “spam”, Virginia legislators have taken a stand to help decrease it by passing a law that makes it a felony and includes penalties. The law applies to “spam” sent to or from the state and those found guilty of sending over 10,000 deceptive email messages in one day can face a prison term of one to five years and forfeiture of any profits and assets associated with the activities. A recent Federal Trade Commission report finds that nearly two-thirds of spam is sent with either false return addresses or a misleading subject line. So far over 24 state have anti-spam laws, but according to the FTC enforcement problems and low penalties have made many of the laws ineffective. According to Virginia governor Mark R. Warner since the headquarters of many Internet providers, including America Online are based here and half of all Internet traffic flows through the state, the new law could have a significant effect on spam.

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