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>> News > Internet
UK Government Makes It Illegal to Receive Junk Mail, 100% of Internet Users to be arrested. - September 20th 2003

The UK Government has made Junk Mail illegal, in part of its initiative to crack down on ‘spamming’ across the Internet and Mobile Phone networks. However the decision, widely believed to benefit the millions of web users frustrated by spam each day, could actually result with them receiving more grief as it has been determined that it is illegal for users to receive the Junk Mail.

“We’re not sure where it’s all gone wrong,” Keith Wilson, the minister responsible for creating the new law, “For years people have told you ‘You need to make Junk e-mail illegal’ Now we have done and they are moaning we’ve some how got it all wrong. I give up.”

People have criticised Mr Wilson explaining to him that the new law is simply ludicrous and he should be prosecuting the people sending the spam, however this was dismissed by Mr Wilson as being “far too difficult to realistically achieve.”

The new law states that any unsolicited e-mail received carries a potential £5,000 fine. This means that in order to receive a e-mail legitimately you have to sign up for a newsletter subscription – however it also means that friends or relatives must also seek your permission before sending you an e-mail.

It was queried as to whether you could simply ‘sign up’ to receive email from family members however Mr Wilson explained this was not allowed:

“E-mail newsletters are despatched at regular time intervals – be it daily, weekly or monthly. E-mails from friends or relatives are spasmodic by their very nature and thus contravene the guidelines laid down for defining an e-mail newsletter.”

In order to receive e-mails from family members legitimately, the sender will have to seek the receiver’s permission on a case-to-case basis. Currently the recommended method of doing this is via a text message, however once the anti-spam laws are introduced to mobile phones this will also become illegal thus creating more hassle.

“To be honest,” Mr Wilson admitted, “The best way to avoid spam e-mail is to stop using e-mail altogether. With the money you save by cancelling your Internet connection you can buy a door without a letterbox in it ready for next autumn when we make it illegal to receive junk post.”

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