Six months after coming into effect, the US Can-SPAM act is being called a failure. Montreal based Email security firm Vircom says that of the 547,685 email messages it has examined since January 2004 when the law went into effect, only 71 or 0.013% of them conformed with the law. “It is apparent from these results that spammers are not worried about any potential legal action,” said Marc Chouinard, head of Vircom’s Spam Buster Team. “If a business relies on legislation to handle the spam problem, they are pretty much out of luck,” Vircom spam expert Michael Gaudette said in a statement.

One of the reasons the Can-SPAM act is toothless is that the majority of SPAM does not come from businesses based in the United States. While 55% of all email SPAM originates in the US, less than 1% of the websites the SPAM directs readers to are based in the US. According to a Globe and Mail article, 99% of all websites referred to by SPAM emails are hosted in China, South Korea, the United States, Russia and Brazil, with a whopping 73% of those sites being hosted in China.

Under the Can-SPAM act, unsolicited Emails must have the following elements to comply with the law:

– a functioning return e-mail address

– a postal address and include an option to “unsubscribe.”

– a subject line that is not deceptive.

The vast majority of SPAM email does not carry any of the three above mentioned elements. SPAM is a scourge on the Internet. I use CloudMark’s SPAMNET to catch SPAM email before it clogs my inbox. I dumped my SPAM box on Monday of this week. As of this minute (Wed. 3:26PM), SPAMNET has filtered 1,222 pieces of SPAM. That is approximately 400 unique SPAM emails per day.

There is one sure-fire way to beat the SPAMMERS right now. DO NOT BUY THEIR PRODUCTS, ever. Do not click their ads and do not open their emails. Eventually they will stop mass-sending. Even though it’s that simple, thousands of people will order sexual enhancements or some such other uselessness from SPAM emails today. Sad.