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Net forum produces anti-spam plan

OECD at heart of global fight against evil email

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IGF Six of the world's largest anti-spam organisations have set up a new website aimed at killing the online menace.

Timed to coincide with an anti-spam workshop at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Athens, the OECD has started StopSpamAlliance.org, along with Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC), the EU Contact Network for Spam enforcement Authorities (CNSA), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the London Action Plan for Spam Enforcement (LAP), and the Seoul-Melbourne MoU.

The idea is to agree upon and share the same methods for reducing spam across the globe - a problem amplified by the current lack of international agreements for how to deal with it. The website contains information on anti-spam laws as well as guides for educating both consumers and business, plus best practices for fighting spam, and for forging international co-operation. The agreement is the result of a year of hard work from the OECD following an in-depth 2005 report on how to best deal with the problem.

While those involved readily admit the agreement is far from a final solution, it does represent the first serious, co-ordinated international effort to deal with spam.

"We know there's no simple single solution to fight spam, and the OECD's work on the anti-spam toolkit stressed the importance of a holistic approach to combating spam", said Claudia Sarrocco of the OECD. "International organisations could and should work together more effectively against spammers, and this initiative will help them do that".

International Telecommunications Union (ITU) secretary general Yoshio Utsumi was also on hand to praise the approach: "This will build confidence and security in the use of ICTs and its new Partnerships for Global Cybersecurity initiative."

Despite countless efforts to limit spam, the simple ability to send millions of messages for almost no cost has made spam a constant intrusion into people's lives. The hope is that the new StopSpamAlliance will inform anyone interested over the best ways to dealing with the problem. ®

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