Political E-Mail: Protected Speech or Unwelcome Spam?

By: Mark Sweet Candidates for political office are using unsolicited bulk e-mails to reach the electorate. Commonly known as “political spam,” this campaign tactic is an inexpensive supplement to television, radio, and print ads. Advocates claim that campaigning via the internet reduces candidates’ dependence on fundraising, but critics detest political spam as the latest nuisance. This iBrief examines the legal basis for political spam, distinguishes political spam from analogous regulated speech, and argues that political spam serves an interest worth protecting. Download Full Article (PDF) Cite: 2003 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 0001