Senator Charles E. Schumer announced the release of a new study (The Dark Side of E-Commerce: The EMail Spam Epidemic) indicating that "New York City residents receive 8.25 million junk emails a day and spend 4.2 million hours a year eliminating spam messages." This announcement also stated the Senator plans to introduce new legislation to combat spam, which would include criminal penalties of $5,000 or more for repeat violators. UPI reports on the bill here. See also my recent posting on the Can-Spam legislation introduced by Senators Wyden and Burns.
For an interesting perspective on just how long we have been plagued by spam, take a look at this article, Reflections on the 25th Anniversary of Spam by Brad Templeton, founder and publisher of ClariNet Communications Corp., the world's first ever ".com" company.