Faculty Research at Morehead State University


A longitudinal Investigation of Spam: Pre- and Post-Can-Spam legislation

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This study examined the impact of the Can-Spam Act of 2003. A review of tactics used by "spammers" to avoid filtering software and circumvent the legal requirements was examined. Tactics in this study include the use of counterfeit characters, gibberish in the subject line, hidden agendas, invalid return addresses and misleading subject lines. A content analysis was also used to assess the most common types of messages received. The research was comprised of three studies. The first study was conducted four months prior to Can-Spam legislation. The second study was conducted four months after the Can-Spam Act became law, and the final study was conducted one year later, January 2005. Findings were significant for legitimacy of valid email sources, and between the first two studies. Final results of the third follow-up study, one year after the Can-Spam legislation went into effect shows that the law has not been effective in reducing the amount of spam, nor have avoidance tactics been significantly reduced.