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A Simple Guide to the New Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

CASL is more demanding than any other anti-spam law.  Here we will provide you with highlights of the new legislation. You can also read more about CASL on

CASL covers the sending of commercial electronic messages that may be accessed by a computer in Canada.  It also includes texts, IMs, and automated cell phone messages sent to electronic devices in Canada.

CASL requires you to get explicit consent before sending someone a message.

1) You have an active business relationship with the recipient.  An active business relationship exists if you have sold something to the recipient within the past 2 years, or the recipient has made an inquiry about your products at any point within the 6 months before you sent the email in question.

2) The recipient published his or her email for the world to see with no caveats about terms of being contacted. If someone puts their email address on their website, but doesn’t include a caveat like “but don’t send me anything” or “no spam, please”.

3) Someone whose “business activities” are relevant to the message you’re sending has given you their contact info without indicating they don’t want to receive your messages. It’s important to note that CASL provides some other exceptions that we don’t go into here because they’re less relevant to an average business situation.


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