For a law to take effect on U.S. federal level, both House and Senate must pass bill and then President of United States must sign bill into law.
Last year we almost got a SPAM law on books when House legislators approved their version of SPAM bill, H. R. 3113, "The Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2000", with a vote of 427-1.
However, it never came close to becoming law because Senate never even voted on it.
This year, there are already several attempts being made to place SPAM under law.
The most recognized is known as bill HR 95, which is a re-introduction of H. R. 3113 from last year and is named: "To protect individuals, families, and Internet service providers from unsolicited and unwanted electronic mail." http:/ homas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.00095:
A SUMMARY AS OF: 1/3/2001--Introduced.
"Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail Act of 2001 - Amends Federal criminal code to provide criminal penalties for intentionally initiating transmission of any unsolicited commercial electronic mail message (message) to a protected computer in United States with knowledge that any domain name or other initiator identifying information contained in or accompanying such message is false or inaccurate.
Prohibits any person from sending such a message unless message contains a valid e-mail address, conspicuously displayed, to which a recipient may send notice of a desire not to receive further messages.
Makes it unlawful for a person to initiate transmission of such a message in violation of a policy regarding unsolicited commercial e-mail messages that complies with specified requirements, including requirements for notice and public availability of such policy and for an opportunity for subscribers to opt not receive such messages.
Directs Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to notify violators under this Act, to prohibit further initiation of such messages, and to require initiator to delete names and e-mail addresses of recipients and providers from all mailing lists.
Provides a right of action by a recipient or provider against e-mail initiators who violate above requirements. "
As bill HR 95 stands right now, it is not expected to pass vote in House for two reasons, even though language of bill is exactly same as that passed last year in a vote of 427-1: