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TrustUK in spam spin

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The Government's latest laughable effort to reassure punters that shopping online is safe has hit further bother.

TrustUK has already been slated as not being worth the cyberspace it's printed on, but the Ts&Cs issued by the e-enforcer have thrown up something even more interesting.

Section 6.10.2 of the Ts&Cs says: "subscribers must not send unsolicited commercial e-mail which is random and targeted."

This is good.

Section 6.10.3 talks of subscribers not sending "unsolicited commercial e-mail communications to individuals who have notified an objection to receiving such unsolicited communications, either by informing the webtrader concerned, or by registering with an e-mail preference service."

Oh right, so now TrustUK favours an opt-out version to regulate spam - that is, punters receiving email unless they request otherwise.

Hang on a mo. Isn't TrustUK backed by Britain's Consumers Association? And didn't the tell The Register yesterday that it had finally come up with a policy about spam?

And didn't it say that - after years of careful consideration - that it would support an opt-in version (people would only receive spam if they asked for it) for regulating junk email?

Do you know, I think they did.

So let's just get this straight, shall we. CA backs a government linked e-hallmark scheme that is pro spam but the organisation is also getting ready to lobby Government in favour of anti-spam (opt-in) measures.

Opt-in, by the way, effectively outlaws spam because...since you request it, it can no longer be classed as unsolicited.

Confused?

"The TrustUK Ts&Cs were drawn up prior to our policy review," said Michelle Childs, head of policy research at the CA.

"We're in discussion with TrustUK over it," she said.

Oh, that explains it. ®

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