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State Spam Laws

State Laws Relating to Unsolicited Commercial or Bulk E-mail (SPAM)

Updated Jan. 2, 2013

Thirty-seven states have laws regulating unsolicited electronic mail advertising. The majority of these state laws target commercial or fraudulent electronic mail; a smaller number of state laws apply to unsolicited "bulk" e-mail.  Most state anti-spam laws prohibit misrepresenting or falsifying the origin of or the routing information on messages; using an Internet address of a third party without permission, or including misleading information in the subject line of a message. Some states also prohibit the sale or distribution of software that is designed solely to falsify or forge the point of origin of or the routing information on e-mail messages.

Most other aspects of state laws, such as labeling requirements for adult-oriented advertising, are preempted by the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. The act preempts any state law that "expressly regulates the use of electronic mail to send commercial messages, except to the extent that any such statute, regulation, or rule prohibits falsity or deception in any portion of a commercial electronic mail message or information attached thereto." The act prohibits fraudulent and deceptive commercial e-mail messages and requires senders to include information allowing recipients to opt-out of receiving further messages. The Federal Trade Commission adopted a rule in 2004 requiring spam that contains sexually oriented material to include the warning “SEXUALLY-EXPLICIT:” in the subject line.


Note: Some provisions of state laws listed below may be preempted by the federal CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, including provisions regarding a private right  of action.
 

 State

 Statute

Alaska Alaska Stat. § 45.50.479
Arizona Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 44-1372 et seq., 44-7201, -7202, -7203, -7204
Arkansas Ark. Code §§ 5-41-205, 4-88-60 et seq.
California Cal. Business & Professions Code §§ 17529-17529.9, 17538.41, 17538.45, 22948, et seq.
Colorado Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 6-1-702.5, 18-5-308
Connecticut Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-451, 52-570c
Delaware Del. Code tit. 11 § 937 - 941
Florida Fla. Stat. § 668.60 et seq.
Georgia Ga. Code §§ 16-9-92, 16-9-100 to 109
Idaho Idaho Code § 48-603E
Illinois 815 ILCS 511/1 et seq.
Indiana Ind. Code § 24-5-22
Iowa Iowa Code §§ 716A.1 to -.7
Kansas Kan. Stat. § 50-6,107
Louisiana La. Rev. Stat. §§ 14:73.1, 14:73.6, 51:2001, 51:2002, 51:2003, 51:2004
Maine Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 10 § 1497
Maryland Md. Code §§ 14-3001-3002-3003
Michigan Mich. Comp. Laws § 445.2501 et seq., § 752.1061 to .1068 (Child protection registry)
Minnesota Minn. Stat. § 325F.694
Missouri Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 407.1123, .1126, .1129, .1132
Nevada Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 205.492, 205.511 to .513, 41.705 to .735
New Mexico N.M. Stat. §§ 57-12-23, -24
North Carolina N.C. Gen. Stat. §§ 14-453 - 458, 1-539.2A
North Dakota N.D. Cent. Code § 51-27-01
Ohio Ohio Rev. Code § 2307.64
Oklahoma Okla. Stat. tit. 15 § 776.1 -776.7
Pennsylvania 73 Pa. Stat. 2250.1 to .8 (2002 Act 222, Unconsolidated Statutes)
Rhode Island R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 6-47-2, 11-52-1, 11-52-2, 11-52-4.1, 11-52-6
South Dakota S.D. Codified Laws § 37-24-4237-24-43, 37-24-44, 37-24-45, 37-24-46, 37-24-47, 37-24-48
Tennessee Tenn. Code §§ 47-18-2501, -2502, §§ 39-14-603, 39-14-605
Texas Texas Bus. & Com. Code Ann. § 321.001 et seq.
Utah Utah Code §§ 13-39-101, -102, -201, -202 (Child protection registry)
Virginia Va. Code §§ 18.2-152.3C1, 18.2-152.4, -152.12
Washington Wash. Rev. Code §§ 19.190.010 to .110
West Virginia W. Va. Code §§ 46A-6G1 to -6G5
Wisconsin Wis. Stat. § 944.25
Wyoming Wyo. Stat. §§ 40-12-401, 40-12-404
 

NCSL Contact: Pam Greenberg, NCSL Denver, pam.greenberg@ncsl.org 

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