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The CRTC is using anti-spam laws on companies that haven’t spammed anyone

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It would hardly be fair to punish a business that did nothing wrong just because its customers are breaking the law. Imagine punishing an auto dealership because they sold a car to someone who later drove drunk. But Canada’s anti-spam rules are snaring companies that have done nothing wrong, simply because they sold products or services to people who use them illegally.

Last month the CRTC released a bulletin of its interpretations of the Intermediaries section (Section 9) of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). In a nutshell, the section allows enforcement against entities that may not be the ones actually clicking “send” on a spam email, but who still contribute to violations of CASL.

The CRTC’s interpretation of this section overreaches this intent. For instance, in the bulletin the CRTC writes, “…it is possible for an individual or organization to be held liable and face administrative monetary penalties for violating section 9 of CASL, even if they did not intend........

© Financial Post