Spam wall by freezelight (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Spam wall by freezelight (CC BY-SA 2.0)


Study Reports Big Drop in Spam Following Canadian Anti-Spam Law Implementation

The launch of Canada’s anti-spam law generated considerable criticism suggesting that the law was unenforceable and would not have a discernible impact on spam. Recent enforcement actions by the CRTC and the Competition Bureau, which led to millions on fines, demonstrates that the law can be used to target businesses that run afoul of the law. Now a new study from Cloudmark, a network security firm, concludes that there was a significant drop in spam originating from Canada once the law took effect. Moreover, Canadians received considerably less email after CASL was implemented. Cloudmark states:

Last year Canada implemented one of the strongest anti-spam laws in the world, CASL. We took a close look at the impact, and the results surprised us. We saw a 37% reduction in spam originating from Canada, but it wasn’t just spam that went down. Over all, Canadians received 29% less email after CASL was implemented. We believe this is because there was a lot of marketing email which was not technically spam but did not meet the stringent requirements for affirmative consent required by CASL. The Canadian law is proving effective in reducing inbox clutter and could act as a model for stronger anti-spam laws in the US, UK and other countries.

Indeed, the charts posted in the full Cloudmark report are striking, showing a noticeable drop in spam originating in Canada and email received in Canada after CASL was implemented. It is still early days for Canada’s anti-spam law, but the Cloudmark report suggests that it is having an impact and touts it as a model for others.

Tags: / /


  1. generals are always ready t fight the last war:
    no battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

    ( cia/will bill donovan )started the information age (after simultaneous revolts in mexcio, china, ireland, russia etc in 1917;

    so. the prop in propaganda today is spam control? the flash-mob of the info world? (or are they twits?)

    Please, won’t somebody think of the children! (+not their sex-texting, thanks)

    The ‘noah’ cilmate change 4000 yrs ago suggests extreme regionalism; so does evolution of democracies. (fragmentation of)

    geo-location targeting means the spam death + forced migration of cell phones next?

    or a GPS ping net?

    ha! welcome to work, eh? these are the junk-faxes.


    • Aunty-Spam says:

      Did you just chose some random tweets and put them all together here? Or were you trying to made the point that spam makes as much sense as your post?

      • naw. Looked for the best way to …. (page left blank)

        son, if my stuff bugs you, stop reading it.


        • Aunty-Spam says:

          I didn’t say it bugged me. I’ve just never seen the result of so many random neurons firing captured in a comment before.

          Of course, icons put pickles to shame on Tuesdays if flowers are enlightened. Know what I mean?

          • Ole Juul says:

            You guys are on different planets. Funny. 🙂

            @Aunty-Spam I had absolutely no problem understanding what @pat donovan said. I’ll translate a bit and also add my own take.

            Spam as it was, isn’t much of a problem any more. Very little gets through to the inbox, even with lax filters. Fighting this old war is simply for the amusement of politicians who, amusingly, can’t tell if we won the war or not. Hint, they’re not actually talking about spam, but themselves.

            I have many e-mail accounts and have a huge attack surface, with some older accounts posted on the open net as well. Of the little spam I get, half is from Canadian political parties who don’t know when to stop and the other half is from forms that I put on web sites. Personally, I think our politicians would do better to develop some better code for me to use for those. Unfortunately politicians are useless at practical solutions – which in this day and age is code, not laws. Propaganda isn’t a solution to anything. Until politicians learn to code, they should just stay out of the whole internet business. They’re not wanted here.

  2. Many businesses feared exactly this when CASL was still being considered. Many people don’t know if they’re being CASL compliant, so they’re just sending fewer emails – even ones that might fall in the grey areas of the law like ‘existing business relationships’. That’s not good for business.

    • To put it bluntly: Good.

      CASL simply makes proper list-management, the stuff you should have already been doing in the first place, a legal requirement. Complaining that it cuts down on “legal” spam ignores that those emails were spam, a nuisance, a cost to the recipient and damaging to the infrastructure, and should never have been sent in the first place regardless of legality.

      If your business has been harmed by you being unable to send unsolicited commercial or bulk advertisements to people who have not specifically chosen to receive them, your business deserved to be harmed and harming your business is a net good for the rest of Canada.

      • Aunty-Spam says:

        Well said. A single company may think that “just one message a week doesn’t hurt anybody” because they’re not thinking of the thousands of other companies thinking the same thing.

        And then there’s the thousands of employees in companies each receiving this crapola and now the I.T. department has to expend time and money to keep that stuff from clogging their systems.

        There is a real, tangible harm to spam. I’d rather legitimate businesses err on the side of less communication than more. I’ve had to threaten some Canadian promotional companies that I’d report them to CASL if they didn’t stop.

        If anything, CASL needs to have more rigorous enforcement.

        • Derelict says:

          What really needs to happen is that the USA needs to adopt CASL-type laws. Most of the spam I get is from American companies, not Canadian ones.

  3. Big whoop. I hardly got any spam anyway. I deal with reputable businesses who allow me to be taken off lists. The only spam that was a nuisance was the typical “make more money…” and other scam emails. Those have oddly decreased over the years due to better filtering too. By the way, I not only manage three email addresses, I also have a home based business so I’m not just dealing with “regular” email.
    So, this all helps with the shady companies that say they will take you off their list but don’t. I don’t know about anyone else, but as I said, for me personally, it’s not made any difference. How about going after the scammer spammers instead.
    In any case, I find the biggest help to my inbox has been social media. No longer do I have to suffer with jokes of the day and other nonsense from acquaintances.

  4. Companies are getting around CASL by making consumers sign onerous consent agreements.

    Recently I opened an account at a major canadian bank. The bank has nearly 20 affiliates and subsidiaries all of whom want to share my name/address/email/phone#…etc, etc. As if that were not enough: “..We may share your personal information with our partners and ANY third parties…to provide you with products…”

    I did not sign the consent. They still opened the account.

    I should charge THEM a fee for making me go through all that.

  5. Pingback: Canada’s new anti-spam law seems to be working | boot13

  6. O/T

    TIPP may die over provision (ISDS) that is ‘essential’ to TPP ?

  7. It is a good move from canadian governments.