IT & the Lawyer

E-mail usage guidelines

The site is to be used as a reference source providing information and links to other sites. A set of guidelines for the use of commercial e-mail has also been assembled. It is hoped that this will form the basis of a green paper to generate a code of conduct for commercial e-mail usage. The guidelines were drafted with the intention of encouraging and educating companies, firms and individuals in the most effective use of e-mail.

Spam or unsolicited bulk e-mail is one of the more malignant aspects of the Internet. The word "Spam" as applied to e-mail means Unsolicited Bulk E-mail (UBE). Unsolicited means that the recipient has not granted verifiable permission for the message to be sent. Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having substantively identical content.

To be Spam, a message must be sent Unsolicited and in Bulk. Unsolicited e-mail is normal e-mail (first contact enquiries, job enquiries, sales enquiries, etc.); Bulk e-mail is normal e-mail (newsletters, discussion lists, etc.). Only the combination of Unsolicited and Bulk is Spam.

Technical definition
An electronic message is "Spam" if: (1) the recipient's personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients; and (2) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent; and (3) the transmission and reception of the message appears to the recipient to give a disproportionate benefit to the sender. (Source: Spamhaus)

Guidelines document website

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