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Canada's Anti-Spam Law Coming Into Force July 01, 2014

Neil Schwartzman

Canada's Anti-Spam Law, CASL, is now a done deal.

Last Thursday, Treasury Board of Canada President (and champion of CASL) Tony Clement approved Industry Canada regulations in their final form.

Today, Minister of Industry the Honourable James Moore announced CASL will come into force in July 1, 2014.

Bringing CASL into being has been an arduous, but meticulously thorough consultative process. Beginning in May 2004 with the Federal Task Force on Spam, The Government of Canada, with input from hundreds of stakeholders with an interest in safe and responsible online messaging have worked tirelessly to develop and deploy the world's most stringent anti-spam law.

In keeping with the long-standing Canadian tradition of having opt-in consent, Canada can now claim to have nec-plus-ultra enforceable standards to which legitimate commercial email will be held.

"CASL makes Canada a place where abusive messaging will no longer be tolerated; it provides a toolkit to protect lawful businesses and consumers from the bad actors ruining the online experience of millions, by putting a hard stop to email spam and all types of messaging abuse, while laying out clear and workable standards for proper opt-in online marketing," said CAUCE president John Levine.

CAUCE founders Chris Lewis, John Levine and Neil Schwartzman have worked on advocating for spam laws since 1997. CAUCE has been working on a Canadian anti-spam law for sixteen years.

"This is a banner day for the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email. CAUCE regards the safety of Internet users as paramount; Canadians will now enjoy a online ecosystem protected by CASL," said Neil Schwartzman, Executive Director of CAUCE.

CAUCE Directors have been integral throughout the process : Matt Vernhout joined the fight on the Task Force on Spam in 2004, Shaun Brown accomplished much through his many years of work on the spam law portfolio at Industry Canada.

Don Blumenthal was consulted on how to design a Spam Freezer in 2006. Dennis Dayman, along with Mr. Vernhout, spoke on behalf of CAUCE at a parliamentary committee reviewing CASL in 2011.

Ultimately, advocating for CASL was a group effort by many individuals throughout Canada and indeed the rest of the world.

CAUCE now looks forward to a betterment of electronic messaging by a fair but aggressive application of the law by the three agencies tasked with enforcement of CASL: the Competition Bureau of Canada the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

By Neil Schwartzman, Executive Director, The Coalition Against unsolicited Commercial Email - CAUCE
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