TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Return of the Junk Fax

Return of the Junk Fax

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 3 Oct 2005 02:43:24 -0400


IN the hierarchy of annoying advertisers, the porn spammers and the
pump-and-dump stock promoters dwell at the bottom. Not far above them
are junk faxers, who spew unsolicited advertisements to your fax
machine, using your phone line, your ink and your paper in the

Most junk faxes have been illegal since 1991. Since then, a federal
law and Federal Communications Commission regulations have kept most
machines free of unsolicited ads. But that may be changing. Why?
"Because Congress just pumped new life into the junk fax industry,"
according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (,
which issued a communication on the subject this week.

This summer, Congress passed and President Bush signed the Junk Fax
Prevention Act. The "Orwellian-named" law removes one of the few
protections against fax abuse, writes Chris Jay Hoofnagle, director
for the center's West Coast office in San Francisco. In a loophole
similar to one in the Can-Spam Act, which has done essentially nothing
to stem the tide of unsolicited commercial e-mail, businesses are
allowed to junk-fax anyone with whom they have an "established
business relationship."

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