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Tags: fec | google | program | campaign emails | spam

FEC Draft Opinion OKs Google Plan to Keep Campaign Emails From Spam

FEC Draft Opinion OKs Google Plan to Keep Campaign Emails From Spam
(AFP via Getty)

By    |   Thursday, 04 August 2022 01:03 PM EDT

A draft opinion by the Federal Election Commission says Google's proposed program to allow campaign emails to skirt past Gmail's spam detection system would not violate campaign finance laws.

Axios reported that a draft of the advisory opinion said the solution is legal under the Federal Election Campaign Act and, "would not result in the making of a prohibited in-kind contribution."

The six-member bipartisan FEC still needs to vote to approve the draft before Google can proceed with the plan, which the Big Tech giant submitted to the commission in June. Commissioner Sean Cooksey told Axios the plan was to vote on the issue at an Aug. 11 meeting.

Google had asked the FEC to decide whether the program would be considered a sort of contribution to political campaigns.

In FEC’s weekly digest of official announcements on July 8, it was announced that the public would have until July 11 to comment on Google's request. FEC spokesperson Judith Ingram then told Business Insider the public comment deadline would actually be July 16.

The July 29 weekly digest said the commission has approved an extension of the public comment period to Aug. 5.

An affirming vote by the nation's 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, Business Insider reported.

"People care about getting spam email, including political email. They have opinions," Rick Hasen, a law and political science professor at the University of California, Irvine, told Business Insider.

"The FEC should give the public sufficient time to weigh in on an issue that affects the public in a direct way."

Political campaigns from both major parties in recent years have blasted out increasingly hyperbolic and sometimes misleading emails in search of money, Business Insider reported.

Campaigns routinely acquire lists of email addresses from data brokers or other political committees and send emails to people who have not signed up to receive them.

"This program will undermine the Commission’s stated goal to protect political donors from deceptive solicitations by increasing the likelihood that such solicitations will reach donors’ inboxes," Sam Cornale, executive director of the Democratic National Committee, wrote, Axios reported.

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Politics
A draft opinion by the Federal Election Commission says Google's proposed program to allow campaign emails to skirt past Gmail's spam detection system would not violate campaign finance laws.
fec, google, program, campaign emails, spam
368
2022-03-04
Thursday, 04 August 2022 01:03 PM
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