Feeds

EC draws line in spam sand

Had enough, can't put up with any more, no, no

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The EC is calling for greater international co-operation in combating spam.

Speaking at this week's OECD workshop on spam in Brussels, Commissioner Erkki Liikanen said the OECD should "rapidly agree" a five-point framework to promote effective legislation against spam. This programme calls for co-operation between enforcement agencies, self-regulation by industry, technical measures, legislative action and greater consumer awareness.

The OECD workshop on spam coincided with the publication of new statistics which reveal junk mail traffic has increased, despite the introduction of anti-spam legislation in the US and Europe.

"Spam is a global problem that requires global action", said Commissioner Liikanen. "If we want to combat spam effectively, efforts made in the European Union and other regions of the world must be echoed by similar efforts at the international level, not only by governments but also businesses and consumers".

More than half (50 per cent) of all EU e-mail traffic is estimated to be spam, according to email filter outfit Brightmail.

The EU introduced a framework policy on spam last two years ago, which member states were obliged to write into national law by October 2003. In the US last month, the CAN-Spam Act (dubbed by critics as the "you can spam Act") became law.

EU and US approaches to anti-spam measures differ markedly, with US marketers only obliged to stop sending unsolicited communications once users opt-out of mailing lists. Europe has adopted a much tougher opt-in regime where prior permission from email recipients needs to be obtained.

That's the theory anyway.

January stats from Brightmail suggest the amount of spam increased to 60 per cent of email. In December 2003, Brightmail reckons 58 per cent of email was junk mail. In 2001 the figure was 'only' seven per cent.

Despite this increase, Brightmail believes that the passage of anti-spam laws internationally will play an important role in the fight against spam.

At an OECD level, the Commission hopes this week's workshop will "generate a better understanding of spam among all OECD member countries and build consensus on the next steps to be taken".

Mozelle Thompson, a commissioner at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, played down trans-Atlantic policy differences.

"Most of the spam we are seeing is so bad that the question of opt-in or opt-out isn't part of the question," he said.

"Instead of focusing on our differences we should focus on what we have in common, which is a spam problem," he added.

Background information on the OECD workshop on spam, as well as the Commission regulations on unsolicited commercial communication (AKA spam) are available here. ®

Related Stories

Spammers not deterred by Can Spam Act
US anti-spam laws 'will legalise spam'
UK anti-spam law goes live
UK Govt fouls up anti-spam plans, say experts
EU anti-spam laws are OK
Microsoft aims to 'shift the tide' in war on spam
US aims to plug global spam holes
The economics of spam
The conspiracy against our in-boxes
Trust me, I'm a spam message!
MP unleashes brilliant anti-spam plan
Sp@m: the myst.eries xp1ained!!! By Stob
We hate Spam (email your friends)

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Google recommends pronounceable passwords
Super Chrome goes into battle with Mr Mxyzptlk
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Reddit wipes clean leaked celeb nudie pics, tells users to zip it
Now we've had all THAT TRAFFIC, we 'deplore' this theft
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
TorrentLocker unpicked: Crypto coding shocker defeats extortionists
Lousy XOR opens door into which victims can shove a foot
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
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 for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.