Feeds

MPs head to US on anti spam mission

Summits up

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

MPs from the UK are to meet with Senators and officials in Washington DC next month to discuss what can be done about spam.

It's the first time that a UK Parliamentary delegation has travelled to the US to discuss the issue. According to some estimates, half of all emails are now spam, of which 90 per cent of which comes from the US.

The All-Party Internet Group (APIG) - which includes MPs Derek Wyatt, Brian White and Andrew Miller - will be joined by e-Envoy, Andrew Pinder, to try and tackle the problem.

The MPs will meet their counterparts on Capital Hill to seek out ways in which legislation in the EU, UK and US could be used to combat unsolicited emails.

In particular, they will be making the case for the US to consider an “opt-in” - rather than their current “opt-out” - approach to unsolicited commercial email.

New legislation wheeled out last week and soon to be adopted by the UK means that commercial operations must get permission from people before sending them emails ("opt in").

But as Derek Wyatt points out in an article on his Web site, the US' "opt out" approach to spam is "philosophically different" to the EU's and a "recipe for disaster".

"Across the EU, spamming will only be allowed if the consumer has opted or signed up to receive the e-mail. This means direct marketing companies must first have permission from their new customers before they can send their junk mail.

"In America you've guessed, they want the consumer to opt-out from receiving direct e-mail by indicating at the bottom of the said e-mail that they no longer wish to be on this list. This is a recipe for disaster. Spammers will just swap e-mail addresses and send more viruses out so as to cull even more e-mail addresses," he wrote.

Said Mr Wyatt, chairman of APIG and a long-time anti spam campaigner: "As 90 per cent of all spamming emails originate in the USA, we must try and persuade our political colleagues in Washington that their current opt-out system might just ensure that the Internet becomes blocked forever which will push up costs and act as a major disincentive to use."

Earlier this summer APIG held an inquiry into spam. A report is due to be published early next month. ®

Related Stories

UK Govt fouls up anti-spam plans, say experts
MPs hold public inquiry into spam

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.