Feeds

UK Govt protects right to spam

Defending the indefensible

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The British Government once again voiced its commitment to the wired economy by attempting to talk its European partners into overturning their commitment to outlaw spam.

The Government, it seems, is happy for Net users to be bombarded with junk email containing all manner of pornographic filth, scams, frauds, deceptions and get-rich-quick schemes that prey on the vulnerable.

The Government is also happy that Net users pick up the tab for this pestering intrusion. It's their time online, their phone bill, their subscription costs - let punters pay for it.

And all in the name of commercial freedom - because companies shouldn't be prevented from "connecting with their customers".

At a meeting yesterday in Luxembourg, Douglas Alexander got his first big outing as Britain's new e-minister.

So what's his first task? That's right, argue that unsolicited commercial email is good for business, good for the development of the Internet, good for e-commerce.

He believes people should specify if they don't want to receive junk email. Funny, since a majority of European countries favour an "opt in" approach - a scheme which would mean users would receive commercial email only if they requested it.

Obviously, Alexander was unmoved by a European Commission report earlier this year which showed that spam was costing poeple in Europe E10 billion ($9.33 billion) a year.

Austria, Denmark, Finland, German and Italy have reportedly already introduced such "opt in" initiatives. Not the UK, though.

Alexander and former part-time e-minister and the current head of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Patricia Hewitt, are happy for ordinary voters, sorry, punters, to pay for the scurrilous activities of "business".

According to sources the British Government was pulling out all the stops to lobby other Euro nations in the run-up to yesterday's meeting and managed to win support from France. Perhaps it should have spammed them instead.

However, Britain's actions did serve to divide the countries, according to Italy's communications minister, Maurizio Gasparri.

"I sided in favour of the opt-in because consumers' protection must be a primary issue," he said by way of Reuters.

"I think the UK's position is too relaxed," he said.

It's now up to the European parliament to debate the issue.

We tried to get the DTI's perspective on this but no one could be arsed to talk return our calls. ®

Reated News

Official: Spam costs E10 billion

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Fast And Furious 6 cammer thrown in slammer for nearly three years
Man jailed for dodgy cinema recording of Hollywood movie
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?