Knesset approves Anti Spam Law

The Knesset approved today an amendment to the Israeli Communication Law that prohibits various sorts of spam: email, fax messages, short text messages (such as cellular SMS) and automatic dialing systems - all should be opted in, if they intend to induce the recipient to spend money.

The strict demand requirement for prior consent is mitigated by two exemptions. An advertiser may send a one-time unsolicited offer to businesses to accept further commercial messages. An advertiser may also send unsolicited commercial messages if the receiver of the message is a client or a potential client of the sender, if the message refers to a product or a service similar to products or services purchased by the client in the past from the sender, and if the receiver is given proper opportunity to refuse any further messages. Furthermore, the advertiser must conspicuously indicate that the message is commercial in nature and that the receiver has a right to refuse any further messages. The advertiser must also provide clear contact details for sending refusal notices.

The Anti Spam law will become effective within six months. Failure to comply with it will subject spammers and senders of commercial offers to statutory damages of up to NIS 1,000 (approximately US $300) per one message. The amendment also indicates that a class action may be brought against infringers.