Feeds

Europe holds key vote on spam tomorrow

Fingers crossed

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The future of unsolicited commercial email in Europe could be decided in Brussels tomorrow as a key committee sits down to debate the issue.

Under existing European law the treatment of junk email - or spam - depends on the position already adopted by individual countries.

Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany and Italy have all signed up to an "opt-in" approach to spam, which should ensure that people only receive junk email if they request it first.

The other ten member states - including France and the UK - believe spam is a legitimate business activity. Their only concession is that users should be able to "opt-out" if they do not want to receive junk email.

Tomorrow's committee meeting will discuss whether Europe should adopt European Commission-backed proposals to introduce an "opt-in" policy to spam acorss all member states, or leave things as they are.

And because of the status of the Citizens' Rights and Freedoms, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, whatever it decides tomorrow is likely to be rubber-stamped by the full Parliament when it meets in the autumn.

Critics warn that leaving the current muddle of legislation as it is will hamper the development of online services and merely play into the hands of spammers. They also warn that spam will not just be restricted to email but also to the increasingly popular mobile message services.

Joe McNamee of the European Internet Service Providers Association (EuroISPA) said: "The proliferation of SMS spam is going to be a severe disadvantage to mobile ecommerce.

"Without an outright ban spammers can hide behind the confused legal situation in Europe," he said.

Those in favour of the status quo question whether any regulation - even at pan-European level - can curtail the spread of spam.

Labour MEP and former Eastenders soap star, Michael Cashman, who sits on the Citizens' Rights and Freedoms committee, believes a ban would have little effect merely driving the practise offshore.

"It would disadvantage EU-based businesses and advantage those businesses trading outside the EU," he said.

"Instead, we must give people the chance to unsubscribe, if they so wish, and to block spam.

"If we don't have the nous to develop software to block spam then the Internet will die under its weight," he said. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
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
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 ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.