September 25, 2020
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HB 1363

1
A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to commercial relations; creating part III
3of ch. 668, F.S., relating to unsolicited commercial
4electronic mail; providing a popular name; providing
5legislative intent; providing definitions relating to
6unsolicited commercial electronic mail; prohibiting a
7person from initiating or assisting in the transmission of
8unsolicited commercial electronic mail under certain
9circumstances; prohibiting the distribution of software or
10any other system designed to falsify missing routing
11information identifying the point of origin or the
12transmission path of a commercial electronic mail message;
13authorizing interactive computer service providers to
14block unsolicited commercial electronic mail; authorizing
15the Department of Legal Affairs to enforce the act;
16authorizing the department and persons receiving or
17retransmitting unsolicited electronic mail to bring an
18action against persons transmitting that mail; providing
19for declaratory and injunctive relief, compensatory
20damages, and attorney's fees; declaring that persons
21outside this state are subject to the jurisdiction of this
22state's courts under specified circumstances; providing a
23statute-of-limitations period; providing that a violation
24of the act is an unfair and deceptive trade practice;
25providing for severability; providing an effective date.
26
27Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
28
29     Section 1.  Part III of chapter 668, Florida Statutes,
30consisting of sections 668.60, 668.601, 668.602, 668.603,
31668.604, 668.605, 668.606, and 668.6075, is created to read:
32     668.60  Popular name; application.--This part may be known
33by the popular name the "Electronic Mail Communications Act."
34Except as otherwise provided, this part applies to unsolicited
35commercial electronic mail.
36     668.601  Legislative intent.--This part is intended to
37promote the integrity of electronic commerce and shall be
38construed liberally in order to protect the public and
39legitimate businesses from deceptive and unsolicited commercial
40electronic mail.
41     668.602  Definitions.--As used in this part, the term:
42     (1)  "Affirmative consent" means that the recipient of
43electronic mail expressly consented to receive the message
44either in response to a clear and conspicuous request for the
45recipient's consent or at the recipient's own initiative. A
46recipient is deemed to have given affirmative consent if the
47electronic mail message is from a person other than the person
48to whom the recipient directly communicated consent if clear and
49conspicuous notice was given to the recipient that the
50recipient's electronic mail address could be transferred to
51another person for the purpose of that person initiating the
52transmission of a commercial electronic mail message to the
53recipient.
54     (2)  "Assist in the transmission" means to provide
55substantial assistance or support that enables a person to
56formulate, compose, send, originate, initiate, or transmit a
57commercial electronic mail message when the person providing the
58assistance knows or has reason to know that the initiator of the
59commercial electronic mail message is engaged in or intends to
60engage in a practice that violates this chapter.
61     (3)  "Commercial electronic mail message" means an
62electronic mail message sent to promote the sale or lease of, or
63investment in, property, goods, or services related to any trade
64or commerce.
65     (4)  "Department" means the Department of Legal Affairs.
66     (5)  "Electronic mail address" means a destination,
67commonly expressed as a string of characters, to which
68electronic mail may be sent or delivered.
69     (6)  "Electronic mail message" means an electronic message
70or computer file that is transmitted between two or more
71telecommunications devices; computers; computer networks,
72regardless of whether the network is a local, regional, or
73global network; or electronic devices capable of receiving
74electronic messages, regardless of whether the message is
75converted to hardcopy format after receipt, viewed upon
76transmission, or stored for later retrieval.
77     (7)  "Initiate the transmission" means the action taken by
78the original sender with respect to a commercial electronic mail
79message.
80     (8)  "Interactive computer service" means any information
81service, system, or access software provider that provides or
82enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server,
83including specifically, but not limited to, a service or system
84that provides access to the Internet and the systems operated or
85services offered by libraries or educational institutions.
86     (9)  "Internet domain name" means a globally unique,
87hierarchical reference to an Internet host or service, which is
88assigned through centralized Internet naming authorities, and
89which is comprised of a series of character strings separated by
90periods, with the right-most string specifying the top of the
91hierarchy.
92     (10)  ?Person? means any individual, group of individuals,
93firm, association, corporation, partnership, joint venture, sole
94proprietorship, or any other business entity.
95     (11)  "Trade or commerce" means the advertising,
96soliciting, providing, offering, or distributing, whether by
97sale, rental, or otherwise, of any goods or service, or any
98property, whether tangible or intangible, or any other article,
99commodity, or thing of value, wherever situated.
100     (12)  "Unsolicited commercial electronic mail message"
101means any commercial electronic mail message that is not a
102transactional or relationship message and is sent to a recipient
103without the recipient's prior affirmative or implied consent.
104     668.603  Prohibited activity.--A person may not:
105     (1)  Initiate or assist in the transmission of an
106unsolicited commercial electronic mail message from a computer
107located in this state or to an electronic mail address that is
108held by a resident of this state which:
109     (a)  Uses a third party's Internet domain name without
110permission of the third party;
111     (b)  Contains falsified or missing routing information or
112otherwise misrepresents, falsifies, or obscures any information
113in identifying the point of origin or the transmission path of
114the unsolicited commercial electronic mail message; or
115     (c)  Contains false or misleading information in the
116subject line.
117
118A person is not initiating a transmission if the activity is
119undertaken by an intervening interactive computer service or
120wireless network that handles or retransmits a commercial
121electronic mail message, unless the intervening interactive
122computer service knows, or has reason to know, that the person
123initiating the transmission is engaged, or intends to engage, in
124any act or practice that violates this section.
125     (2)  Distribute software or any other system designed to
126falsify missing routing information identifying the point of
127origin or the transmission path of the commercial electronic
128mail message.
129     668.604  Blocking of commercial electronic mail by
130interactive computer service.--
131     (1)  An interactive computer service may, upon its own
132initiative, block the receipt or transmission through its
133service of any commercial electronic mail message that it
134reasonably believes is, or will be sent, in violation of s.
135668.603.
136     (2)  An interactive computer service is not liable for any
137action voluntarily taken in good faith to block the receipt or
138transmission through its service of any commercial electronic
139mail message that it reasonably believes is, or will be sent, in
140violation of s. 668.603.
141     668.605  Confidentiality of intelligence or investigation
142information.--This part does not contravene the provisions of s.
143501.2065, which provides for maintaining the confidential status
144of certain information.
145     668.606  Remedies.--
146     (1)  The department may bring an action for damages or for
147declaratory or injunctive relief or may impose a civil penalty
148as provided in this section. A cause of action, without regard
149to any other remedy or relief to which a person is entitled,
150including the right to seek declaratory and injunctive relief
151against a person who initiates or assists in the transmission of
152a commercial electronic mail message that violates, has
153violated, or is otherwise likely to violate s. 668.603, is
154available to:
155     (a)  A person who receives an unsolicited commercial
156electronic mail message; and
157     (b)  An interactive computer service, telephone company, or
158cable provider that handles or retransmits the commercial
159electronic mail message.
160     (2)  This part does not create a cause of action against an
161interactive computer service, telephone company, or cable
162provider whose equipment is used to transport, handle, or
163retransmit a commercial electronic mail message that violates s.
164668.603.
165     (3)  A prevailing plaintiff in an action filed under this
166part is entitled to:
167     (a)  An injunction to enjoin future violations of s.
168668.603.
169     (b)  Compensatory damages equal to any actual damage proven
170by the plaintiff to have resulted from the initiation of the
171unsolicited commercial electronic mail message or liquidated
172damages of $500 for each unsolicited commercial electronic mail
173message that violates s. 668.603 when that message is sent by
174the defendant:
175     1.  To the plaintiff;
176     2.  Through the plaintiff's interactive computer service;
177or
178     3.  To any consumer in this state, if the department is the
179plaintiff.
180     (c)  The plaintiff's attorney's fees and other litigation
181costs reasonably incurred in connection with the action.
182     (4)  Any person outside this state who initiates or assists
183in the transmission of a commercial electronic mail message
184received in this state which violates s. 668.603 and who knows,
185or should have known, that the commercial electronic mail
186message will be received in this state submits to the
187jurisdiction of this state for purposes of this part.
188     (5)  An action under this section must be commenced within
1894 years following the date of any activity prohibited by s.
190668.603.
191     668.6075  Violations of s. 668.603.--
192     (1)  A violation of s. 668.603 shall be deemed an unfair
193and deceptive trade practice within the meaning of part II of
194chapter 501. In addition to any remedies or penalties set forth
195in that part, a violator shall be subject to the penalties and
196remedies provided for in this part.
197     (2)  The remedies of this part are in addition to remedies
198otherwise available for the same conduct under federal or state
199law.
200     Section 2.  If any provision of this act or its application
201to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity
202does not affect other provisions or applications of this act
203which can be given effect without the invalid provision or
204application, and to this end the provisions of this act are
205severable.
206     Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2004.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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