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The British Government has bottled out of plans to ban spam and has, instead, opted for a system of self-regulation.

News of the Government's decision has been welcomed by some industry insiders who believe that the self-regulatory approach already employed by ISPs is effective in combating spam..

Hard-liners, on the other hand, claim this is further evidence of the Government's wishy-washy approach to the Net and further erodes its credentials as a champion of ecommerce.

A spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said: "The Government has decided that the most effective way to control unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam) is through self regulation by the industry."

He said ISPs would co-operate both nationally and internationally to combat spam, with agreements in place to pull the plug on serial spammers.

Britain's decision could be overturned if anti-spam legislation currently being discussed in Europe gets adopted.

However, one insider has described predicting how the issue will be resolved as "too close to call". ®

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