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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With John Mozena

Aired July 2, 2003 - 20:33   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: In other news tonight, more than 15 million people have put their names on the government's new do not call list. It is designed to cut down on solicited phone calls from telemarketers, but the salesmen and women aren't taking all this lying down. They are simply heading to Internet and an e-mail box near you. Joining me now from Southfield, Michigan, is John Mozena. He is a spokesman for the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail. Welcome.
JOHN MOZENA, COALITION AGAINST UNSOLICITED COMMERCIAL E-MAIL: Thank you.

ZAHN: Can you gauge yet how much spam people are getting in the wake of this do-not-call list or is it too early to tell?

MOZENA: It's really too early to tell. The do not call list does not become effective until October 1, but given that spam's already about half of the e-mail we receive, we're concerned about what happens if legitimate marketers join the pornographers and everybody else out there in spamming us.

ZAHN: I mean have you seen any change in the last couple of days? Have you heard people complaining about it?

MOZENA: No, but we're starting to hear rumblings, that some of these marketers, some of the legitimate marketers who are sending us the credit card solicitations and the mortgages and the would you like to change your long distance service that those folks are looking for some other way given the real strong response to the do not call list by consumers.

ZAHN: Senator Charles Schumer got some attention in a bunch of newspapers across the country today for some legislation that is stalled. I guess that would create a do not spam list. Bring us up- to-date on where it is, and whether you think it could ultimately pass?

MOZENA: Yes, we like the idea of the do not spam list. We think that it's a you know, logical conclusion. The do not call list obviously has strong consumer approval. The do not spam list we think would be a -- at least a good attempt of trying to cut down on the amount of spam that consumers receive. The problem is is that the marketing industry is tremendously opposed to it. It took us many years to fight the fight for the do not call list and we're hoping that it doesn't take us many years to get a do not spam list. ZAHN: Of course, you are getting the same argument that you've heard over the last couple of years and that is why shouldn't telemarketers have the right to free speech here, whether it's through telephone calls or through the Internet?

MOZENA: Well, there's nothing wrong with free speech. This isn't really a first amendment issue, though. It's a question of giving consumers the right to say no, thank you. And there's no first amendment right to force somebody listen to your speech especially when -- especially in the case of spam when you're using their property, their computer, their Internet access that they're paying for in order to get their advertisements to them for free.

ZAHN: A real honest answer for me tonight. What do you do when you get spam?

MOZENA: I complain about it.

ZAHN: You do? Any words you can repeat here on this evening's broadcast?

MOZENA: No actually. I -- I'm one of those people who knows enough about the Internet I guess to be able to complain to the Internet service providers or the spammer.

ZAHN: You will have to teach the rest of us to be better behaved like you. John Mozena. Thanks for joining us.

MOZENA: Thank you.

ZAHN: Spokesman for the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com




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