Canning Spam<@VM>IT Tax Relief<@VM>Government Telecommuting

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., introduced the Anti-Spamming Act of 2001 March 15 to crack down on senders of unwanted and unsolicited e-mail that clogs inboxes.

"Unsolicited e-mail, such as advertisements, solicitations or chain letters, is the junk mail of the information age," Goodlatte said. "When unwanted mail is hand-delivered to your home or post office box, you can ask the postmaster not to deliver it. When telemarketers call you at home, you may ask to be taken off their solicitation list. But currently, there is nothing to prevent unwanted e-mail."

The Anti-Spamming Act of 2001 makes it a criminal offense to fraudulently use an individual's e-mail address to send unsolicited e-mail to other people. Those who break the law may face a fine of up to $15,000 per violation or $10 per e-mail per violation, whichever is greater. They also will be responsible for repaying any money lost by the victims.

The bill will soon be referred to the House Judiciary Committee, on which Goodlatte serves. The Information Technology Association of America is pushing President Bush and Congress for passage of a substantial tax relief package.

A March 8 letter from ITAA member executives to the president and congressional leaders emphasized the need for a large individual tax cut to spur consumer confidence and energize the economy.

The letter also praised the Bush proposal to make permanent the research and development tax credit for businesses.Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., chairman of the House Government Reform subcommittee on technology and procurement policy, will hold hearings to examine federal agencies' efforts to create and promote telecommuting programs.

"Telecommuting is an initiative that permits employees to work away from the traditional workplace, generally at home or in telework centers," Davis said March 16. "Technological advances have made telecommuting a more feasible and attractive choice for employees, allowing them to work just about anywhere, anytime."

The government needs programs and policies to attract employees, and telecommuting is vital to efforts to recruit and retain a skilled work force, he said.

"We also need to ensure that necessary funding is available to support telecommuters, and that government records remain secure if they are removed from the workplace," he added.

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