Canada Announces Go-Live Date for CASL Anti-Spam Law

In early December 2013 the Canadian government announced that the 2010 Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) will go into effect on July 1, 2014. Although this law covers considerably more ground than just unsolicited bulk email (spam), it is very good news for those who fight spam, and especially good news for those of us who fight spam by otherwise legitimate companies. The reason? CASL requires (with some limited exceptions) that recipients of bulk email give explicit consent to receive the email before it is sent. In other words, CASL requires opt-in. Unlike the U.S. CAN-SPAM law and many other laws in many other countries, CASL actually forbids most spam.

CASL also has teeth. Violations of the CASL opt-in requirement can draw fines as high as $10 million Canadian per infringing email. By all appearances, the Canadian government agencies responsible for enforcement of CASL are prepared to enforce the law vigorously.

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NASA JPL: When the Same Email is Both Solicited and Spam (Take #2)

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL) sent me a solicited, much-desired, and eagerly read bulk email today. The organization also spammed a half dozen email addresses at domains that closed in 2005 and earlier. I don’t doubt that the original owners of those email addresses subscribed, probably sometime in the 1990s. Email addresses (unlike diamonds) are not forever. The ESP is IContact.

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The 1776 Coalition: Spamming a Decade-Closed Spamtrap

The 1776 Coalition, which appears on the face of things to be a Tea Party-affiliated conservative action group but whose focus is on marketing rather than politics, today spammed an email address that was closed in 2005. The email claims that the email address was added to their list on August 26, 2013. Either a malicious subscriber put this email address into the web form on this organization’s web site, and the organization failed to validate and confirm the email address before adding it to their list, or the organization is using a purchased or other third-party list. The ESP is BlueHornet, a division of Digital River.

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Finnair: Bounces, wot bounces?

Finnair, Finland’s national airline, has failed to process bounces for quite some time. So, if you are a valued customer of Finnair, and the email address you registered with Finnair is no longer yours, and you continue to fly with Finnair, you’re set up for a really interesting situation.
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Finnish Post: How not to (not) handle bounces

The NetPosti service of the Finnish Post is one of the most offensive parties to illegally handle outdated and erroneous personal data. They’ve finally woken up. Sorta.

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New Finnish DNSBL

We were recently made aware of bl.suomispam.net, a DNSBL targeted at Finnish spammers only. We welcome the newcomer and wish it all the best!

New trend: spam via prepaid cell data plans

I’ve recently been complaining to DNA, Elisa and TeliaSonera about a few particularly persistent Finnish B2B mainsleaze spammers in their network. These responses are very enlightening:

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Periodic update

Yes, we’re alive. There’s just too much spam to choose which one(s) to write about, too little time, and all your usual stuff.

The good news is we’ve got tons more spamtraps. The bad news is that we do, because it means we’re up to our ears in spam that’s eligible to write about… 🙂

Fonecta “almost” forced to stop selling crappy B2B email addresses

A few days ago, somebody tweeted a copy of a letter Fonecta, the Finnish spammer and list vendor, had sent to its customers. The matter also made news in Finnish IT press (Tietoviikko).

A copy of the letter and a translation are included below.

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Spam apologies in Finland

In Laatu korvaa määrän, the CEO of Nebula, a Finnish hosting service provider expounds on how quality is better than quantity (with regard to email marketing, of course).

The post starts out fine, then it descends into the abyss of trying to discern what is a good purchased list.

Can I use a purchased email list? Courtesy of MailChimp.

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