'Junk E-mail': An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail ('Spam') [Updated April 15, 2003] [open pdf - 29KB]
"Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called 'spam' or 'junk e-mail,' aggravates many computer users. Not only can it be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique and protected by the First Amendment. Legislation to place limits on UCE was considered by the last three Congresses (105th-107th ), but no federal law was enacted (27 states have anti-spam laws, however). Two bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress: S. 563 (Dayton) and S. 877 (Burns). This report will be updated."
CRS Report for Congress, RS20037