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MP sets up spam busting site

Use it, don't abuse it

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Derek Wyatt MP, Chair of the All Party Internet Group, has set up a Web site to mobilise consumers against the mounting menace of spam email.

The site, EndSpam, includes advice about how consumers can complain to their ISP about unsolicited commercial email or complain to their MP about the issue of spam in general.

In advising consumers to contact their MP about the junk mail issue, the site begins by saying: "Your MP has to address any problems you have including spam! Ask him or her to pass your letter on to the Minister."

No, no, no they're not advising aggrieved punters to pass on their debt consolidation and penile extension emails to honourable members, you cheeky lot.

Instead (as you'll learn if you read this page) this part of the site is designed to make it easier for punters to raise general concerns about spam with their MP. A suggested form of letter and links to the Fax your MP service are provided. Use it - don't abuse it.

Elsewhere on the site we find helpful tips on how to avoid receiving spam email, stats on the growth of spam email and links to other material.

Plans to develop the site, for example by creating an online petition on spam to be presented to Parliament, are in the pipeline.

Considering the target audience of the site is general consumers, the simplicity of the site is a major plus. Minor quibbles aside (the complain to ISP sections doesn't mention that abuse@ is a common-used generic first port of call for spam complaints) the site is a useful resource. It's also commendable for politicians to be out doing something practical to raise awareness about issues (like spam) rather than just paying the problem lip-service.

As we reported last week, the All Party Internet Group is investigating the spam email explosion. At its first Spam Summit of industry experts, the group heard how more than half of all email will be spam this summer and a fifth of all spam arriving in UK mail boxes including those of children is already pornographic.

Wyatt comments: "The All Party Internet Group is developing recommendations to the government for the strongest legislation against spam. But in the meantime, by creating this site, concerned parents and email users can make their voices heard, put pressure on the authorities to do more to stop spam, and join this important debate". ®

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