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Monday, October 04, 2004

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 Supreme Court hangs up on telemarketers

In a victory for privacy rights (not to mention good old peace of mind), the Supreme Court today turned away a challenge to the federal do-not-call registry, ending telemarketers' bid to invoke free-speech arguments to get the popular ban on unwanted phone solicitations thrown out.

The court, without comment, let stand a 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld the registry of more than 57 million phone numbers as a reasonable government attempt to safeguard personal privacy and reduce telemarketing abuse.

Under the 2003 federal law, businesses face fines of up to $11,000 if they call people who sign up for the registry -- unless they have recently done business with them. Charities, pollsters and callers on behalf of politicians, however, are exempt.

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