Murkogram

A Murkogram is spam (unsolicited commercial e-mail) that includes a disclaimer to the effect that the message cannot be considered spam because it is in compliance with Bill S.1618 Title III, known as the Inbox Privacy Act. 

A Murkogram is spam (unsolicited commercial e-mail) that includes a disclaimer to the effect that the message cannot be considered spam because it is in compliance with Bill S.1618 Title III, known as the Inbox Privacy Act. 

In 1999, U. S. Senator Frank Murkowski, for whom the Murkogram is named, proposed a law requiring that unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) messages include the sender's correct name, physical address, Internet address and telephone number, as well as an option for recipients to remove themselves from the sender's list of addresses. The proposal failed to be enacted because it was opposed by Internet service providers who said it would present them with a heavy administrative burden. Nevertheless, many spammers began to cite the proposed law as a way of legitimizing their spam. 

A typical boilerplate statement in the e-mail would suggest (1) that the e-mail, even though not requested, was in conformance with the (actually non-existent) law since it identified the sender, and, in some statements, (2) that the recipient had no grounds for taking action against the sender. People who send such spam are sometimes said to be Murking.

Similar legislation by a different name and bill number was proposed in the U. S. House of Representatives. Some Murkers occasionally cite the House of Representatives bill number or other legislative proposals, none of which were ever enacted. As of mid-2003, several new pieces of legislation aimed at curbing spam were being considered.

This was first published in September 2005

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