Anti-Spam Legislation In The Works

Sources: ABC News and CNN

It's an epidemic plaguing computers across the country.

"The high level spam is deleted and that takes about 20 to 35 minutes four times a day," said network administrator Havey Morgan. "So that's about two hours I spend just dealing with spam."

Morgan isn't alone. American business loses about 10 billion dollars a year in lost productivity and equipment fighting to keep spam off of their networks.

"It's kind of like a virus, you have someone sitting there all day long figuring out new ways to do things," said Morgan. "And as you develop a technique to fend off spam someone is going to say 'Well, I can go this route.'"

A new bill passed by the senate may help protect your inbox from the onslaught of spam. Under the bill, spammers would face fines and penalties for disguising their identities, using misleading subject lines or other fraudulent pitches.

The bill would also set up a do-not-spam registry similar to the do-not call list for consumers who wish to avoid telemarketing calls. The bill is receiving overwhelming support, the vote on the so-called "can spam" bill was 97-to-0.

"What was a simple annoyance last year has become a major concern this year and could cripple one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century if nothing is done," said Senator Charles Schumer (D) of New York.

"It's an idea who's time has come and that is simply by virtue of the fact that people can hardly even use their e-mail now, its so cluttered up," said Senator Bill Nelson (D) of Florida.

The senate bill is not without it's critics. Marketers and even the Federal Trade Commission say the law would be unenforceable.