andy1307 writes "According to New York Times, spam has actually gone up [Free registration required. You gave real info, right?] since the CAN-SPAM act went into effect. There is a graphic in the article that illustrates this increase. Before the CAN-SPAM act was passed, spam was about 60% of all e-mail traffic. Now it's 80%. In a we-told-you-so quote, Steve Linford, the founder of the Spamhaus Project, says CAN-SPAM legalized spam by giving bulk advertisers permission to send junk e-mail as long as they followed certain rules. Slashdot covered this story last year. For companies that offer offshore "bulk advertising" servers, business is booming. A survey from Stanford University estimates the global cost of spam in terms of lost productivity to be at 50 billion $ and 17 billion $ in the US alone. CAN-SPAM does give prosecutors some leverage to go after the merchants - but it must be proved that they knew, or should have known, that their wares were being fed into the illegal spam chain. " The BBC has a related story talking about rates of spam, viruses, and scam mail.