The Inbox Project

The Inbox Project is a collection of materials related to anti-spam law, which is being developed as a joint project of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email ("CAUCE") and the LII. CAUCE, the world's oldest and largest grass-roots email advocacy organization, is providing knowledge crucial to developing the collection.  As the site grows, and as we shape the collection to meet the needs of the community, CAUCE will continue to offer expertise, commentary, and guidance.

The Inbox Project collection is currently divided into six subsections:

  1. at-a-glance comparison tables, which provide links to pages within the collection discussing the presented materials in greater depth;
  2. an FAQ entitled "So you want to file a CAN-SPAM suit?";
  3. discussion of the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act of 2003;
  4. discussion of the Canadian Anti-Spam Law of 2010;
  5. a survey of U.S. state anti-spam efforts, which places those efforts within a broader legal framework (including the CAN-SPAM Act); and
  6. discussion of the broader national and international legal frameworks for commercial email and electronic commerce, including a chart depicting EU member-state implementation of the relevant EU commercial email directive.

This Inbox Project collection will seek to answer important questions about the law governing commercial email, including the following:

    • What laws control spam?
    • How do anti-spam laws deal with free speech issues?
    • How have anti-spam laws been interpreted and enforced?
    • Can I make a case against a spammer?
    • What would an effective spam-control law look like, and how might legislators write one?
    • How can I avoid spam-related problems with my business?

Understanding the legal frameworks that govern commercial email is important to everybody.  Answers to questions like these are of vital interest to email service providers (ESPs), Internet service providers (ISPs), and to other institutions (such as universities) that act in those roles.  Answers to such questions will likewise interest every organization that runs an email server, and every private citizen with an email account that's been spammed. 

For further reading, and to see a list of references we have relied upon in preparing this collection, see Inbox Project: References & Further Reading.