Members of Congress would like to score points back home by passing an antispam law. But it would be a cruel trick if the bill pre-empted the roughly 30 state laws with weak federal rules.
One indication Congress may end up being too lenient is that some industry lobbyists, who usually fight any antispam law, are now saying they want Congress to act. And some consumer lobbyists are now hoping Congress does nothing. The Internet, which knows no borders, is best regulated at the national level. But it must be done in a way that puts the public's interest ahead of the spammers'.
Our legislature never fails to demonstrate loyalty to its paymasters and post-legislative support system. I suppose this is a form of integrity, which we should extend by making every congressperson a publicly owned corporation.
Geeks will not be bothered, they know that the only solutions to spam are technical (such as filtering based on the managed reputation of the sending service). This may be naive, however. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) should have proved the danger of bad law to even the most naive geek. If Congress keeps to recent form, some perverse combination of the DMCA and this new law will somehow make it illegal to interfere with the transmission, delivery and receipt of spam.