Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


Shaobin Zhu


The Internet and advances in telecommunications technology present unprecedented opportunities for cross-border fraud and deception directed at U.S. consumers and businesses. However, the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) ability to obtain effective relief may face practical impediments in prosecuting these cross-border wrongdoers. To help address the challenges posed by the globalization of fraud, President Bush signed the Undertaking Spam, Spyware and Fraud Enforcement With Enforcers Beyond Borders Act of 2006 (“U.S. SAFE WEB Act” or “Act”) into law on December 22, 2006. This Article discusses the FTC’s expanded enforcement authority granted by the Act to fight fraud and deception, and particularly to fight illegal spam, spyware, and cross-border fraud and deception. Privacy advocates have voiced concern that the FTC may now have more power to invade the privacy of U.S. citizens. This Article concludes that the Act’s grant of power to the FTC is not too broad, and that the Act maintains an appropriate balance between law enforcement interests and privacy interests.

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