Some real good news, if you can call it that, comes from Postini, which processes 3.5 billion messages a week. Although its spam rate stayed level at 80 percent during the entire year of 2004 (and is one of the few services that did not have significant increases after the CAN-SPAM Act was enacted), its 2005 spam rate was around 59 percent. That might seem a reason to celebrate until you realize that its current spam rate is still up 65 percent from January 2002.
The real proof of CAN-SPAM's effectiveness is your own e-mail inbox. Does it look any better these days? If it does, I’ll bet it’s because you or your company has multiple anti-spam filters. One guy in the Netherlands, Paul Wouter, says his personal spam increased seven-fold in 2004, and was twice that in 2005.
Even though I don’t see any statistics that lead me to believe that spam is getting better, let’s suppose that the CAN-SPAM Act has actually cut the spam rate to 50 percent. So at best, after two years of work, only half of all messages on the Internet are spam. Is that victory?
I agree with those who say CAN-SPAM shouldn’t be modified. It should be killed and reborn with an opt-in policy, just like the Federal Trade Commission’s Do-Not-Call list.