Feeds

MEP Cashman tries to support pro-spam stance

Warning: this may make you angry

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The British MEP responsible for scrapping an opt-in approach to unsolicited commercial email in the EU has attempted to explain his reasoning in a stock response email.

Michael Cashman has made few friends this month by tabling an amendment which will probably mean consumers will actively have to say they don't wish to receive emails from companies. The "opt-in" approach, favoured by most European countries, would mean companies have to ask consumers' permission before they send them advertising material.

Cashman's amendment put a spanner in the works by raising opposition to the plan. The email explains the situation before listing Cashman's logic for the opt-out approach.

Why hold back a European agreement to restrict unsolicited commercial email (UCE)? "The Internet is global, so an opt-in in Europe would not protect European consumers from spam."

Why not block as much unsolicited email as possible? "By no means all UCE is spam - much is sent as part of responsible marketing campaigns and is of interest/use to the receiver. Spam should be differentiated from responsible unsolicited commercial e-mail, which provides customers with potentially useful information." Uh-huh.

And anyway: "The majority of spam - pornographic and other distasteful messages - comes from outside the European Union, and its users do not respect either opt-in or opt-out systems. The experience in opt-in countries - such as Finland - is that this spam just keeps on coming, while potentially useful emails from responsible and law-abiding European companies are blocked."

So, if you can't beat em? "Spam is very often based on the use of 'harvested' email addresses obtained without the addressee's knowledge or consent - this is already illegal under the framework data
protection directive so we should concentrate on enforcing existing laws."

Besides not having spam puts us as a disadvantage: "Harmonised opt-in rules disadvantage European companies. Companies in the United States, Japan and elsewhere would still be able to send commercial email to European consumers using the global Internet. Therefore, why should the EU deprive European companies of the right to do the same?" [This man is serious by the way.] "We should be helping European e-commerce companies to become competitive, not erecting further barriers to their expansion by means of competitive disadvantages. Responsible commercial email of this type is particularly useful to small European companies. A harmonised opt-in would favour large, predominantly American e-commerce companies, who can afford expensive media or billboard advertising campaigns."

And we're all making a fuss about nothing anyway: "Email is the easiest form of communication from which to opt out. Recipients need only press reply and type 'unsubscribe'. We could legislate that opt-outs need to be as easy as that, as the Parliament committee has tried to do."

Besides opt-in won't work: "It is far more difficult for the consumer to prove that he has never 'opted-in' at any time in the past."

So there you have it: spam is in fact a really good thing and we all ought to learn to love it. Without it, Europe will become uncompetitive, consumers will suffer and we won't get to hear about lots of great deals.

So why is it that receiving hundreds of useless emails a month selling us services or products we will never want in our lives, which we then waste hours deleting, is something we can't get enthused about? ®

Related Stories

Europe bottles spam ban
Europe holds key vote on spam tomorrow

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
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.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.