CASL – New Canadian Anti-Spam Law – A Nuclear Option

CASL – New Canadian Anti-Spam Law – A Nuclear Option

You’ve probably just heard about the new federal Canadian Anti-Spam Law, effective July 1, 2014. It’s given business owners, especially small business owners and the public, scant time to scrutinize and respond to it.

Ask anyone if they like spam and it’s no surprise, their automatic answer is « I hate spam! »  But what about an answer to the question, will the new Canadian Anti-Spam Law make my mailbox safer from spam?

Unfortunately the answer is no, Canada’s anti-spam law sadly will not protect your inbox. It will still be filled with spam, just not Canadian spam. Offshore spam, the origin of the vast majority (estimated at 70% by experts), especially the nasty stuff, is distributed by overseas botnets and not effected by this law.

What most people are missing, and what’s most ironic, is while the law will have little effect in reducing the actual volume of spam, this law will do significant damage to Canada’s economy and entrepreneurial spirit. (Not to mention the additional costs and environmental waste created through the inefficiencies of paper promotions).

All spam is not equal. Sure no one likes to have to sift through garbage. And there’s lots of junk email. But not all unsubscribed email is hideous. Call me crazy, but an email from the local farmers market offering a special variety of basil, your yoga instructor saying she has openings next week, or your favorite local band announcing an upcoming gig, just doesn’t seem to deserve this censorship. Small Canadian entrepreneurs should be allowed to communicate with their public. And they deserve to be able to use the efficiencies technology offers, to help them survive and thrive. Should honest Canadian businesses be hamstrung, put at a competitive disadvantage with foreign businesses? Aren’t we looking to encourage investment and strengthen our economy?

An officially enforced « unsubscribe »  policy would serve the public way better than this law’s once per lifetime « opt-in »  burden. Opt-in is a nuclear option and there’s no need to « get mediaeval »  on Canadians. The penalties this law imposes are like death sentences. at a maximum $10 million per violation!

With all respect, new laws require balance and reason to be applied, with proper public discourse seeking practical solutions.

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