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Israel: Prohibition on Unsolicited Junk Mail

(July 2, 2008) On May 27, 2008, the Knesset (parliament) passed an amendment to the Telecommunication Law, 5742-1982. The amendment has a direct impact on communications between companies and other organizations and their clients. The amendment prohibits advertisers from transmitting, via fax, automatic dialing and electronic messages like Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) or Short Messaging Service (SMS) messages, commercial messages that are designed to promote the sale of goods or services in the absence of prior expressed consent by the receiver. An advertiser, however, can utilize any of these transmission methods for one time, by requesting that the addressee consent to receipt of advertisements on the advertiser's behalf. An addressee may, at all times and with no charge, retract on his or her consent to receive advertisements by the transmission of a notice to that effect. Advertisements transmitted in accordance with the law should clearly state the name of the advertiser and his or her information, the right of the addressee to transmit a message for retraction of consent, and the methods available for transmission.

Violation of the law is punishable by fines and may give rise to no fault tort actins and compensation, as well as class actions against the advertiser. The new amendment will enter into force in November 2008. (The Telecommunications Law (Phone and Broadcasting) (amendment No. 40), 5768-2008, the Knesset official Web site, (last visited June 20, 2008); The Telecommunications Law, 5742-1982, 36 LAWS OF THE STATE OF ISRAEL [official translation] 229 (5742-1981/82).)