No. Absolutely not. Legislatures and Courts at all levels of government have ruled that commercial speech does not merit full protection, and no form of speech is allowed to intrude on someone else's personal space without permission.
"Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit.
"We therefore categorically reject the argument that a vendor has a right under the Constitution or otherwise to send unwanted material into the home of another. If this prohibition operates to impede the flow of even valid ideas, the answer is that no one has a right to press even 'good' ideas on an unwilling recipient. That we are often 'captives' outside the sanctuary of the home and subject to objectionable speech and other sound does not mean we must be captives everywhere. The asserted right of a mailer, we repeat, stops at the outer boundary of every person's domain."
- Chief Justice Warren Burger, US Supreme Court, Rowan v US Post Office
Umm... it's illegal in most states. I recognize the poetic irony in forcing a spammer to unsubscribe from junk mail, but it's not my cup of tea. When I make phone calls regarding spam, I'd rather contact ISP abuse departments and get the spammer cut off.
No, you don't. Please read "You might be an anti-spam kook if..." before you say another word. Rule #1: You are not able to eliminate/replace all current email software.
Any technology-based fix for spam must be able to phase in gradually, and it must provide benefits to those who install it, even if 90% of email isn't using it (yet). One example of a good non-kooky tool is Sender Permitted From.
Maryland's law allowed for small claims actions against forged or deceptive email adverts sent to or coming from Maryland. However, it contains a "Knowledge Clause" which requires the recipient to prove that the spammer should have known the recipient was a Maryland resident. Without a Do-Not-Email list, this is excessively burdensome for most plaintiffs.
Short answer: not any more.
As of 2004, the federal CAN-SPAM law supercedes all state spam laws (with some small exceptions). So if you were hoping to sue a spammer in the USA, it's probably too late now. Here are my opinions about the 36 state laws as of 2003/09/27:
Patchwork state laws are somewhat useful, but an effective (inter)national law would be better. Unfortunately, a weak national law would actually legitimize spammers and backfire. Hence, I oppose CAN-SPAM for being toothless and anti-effective. To succeed, an anti-spam law should do the following:
Back to my spam page, or wherever you came from. Last updated 2004/11/07 p.s. Jonathan Biedron rocks!