Google’s Request for an FEC Advisory Opinion on Political Spam

Business Insider reports on the July 1 request, on which public comments are reportedly due July 16:

Google wants to ease its Gmail spam filters when political candidates and committees email you for donations or otherwise try contacting you — and it’s asked the Federal Election Commission for its legal blessing.

But few Americans are aware of this pending case. And a deadline for public comment is fast approaching with little publicity from Google or the FEC on the case — or its implication for consumers.

An affirmative ruling by the nation’s bipartisan campaign finance regulator could affect tens of millions of Gmail users who could expect more political solicitations landing in their main inboxes unless they proactively opt-out. 

“People care about getting spam email, including political email. They have opinions,” said Rick Hasen, a law and political science professor at the University of California, Irvine, who edits the Election Law Blog. “The FEC should give the public sufficient time to weigh in on an issue that affects the public in direct way.”

Update: The FEC has posted 48 individual comments on the proposal.

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