Saturday

3rd Dec 2022

EU countries unite against 'spam'

Over half of the countries in the EU have said they will join forces to combat "spam" - unsolicited e-mail which generally advertises the services or products of a company.

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and Spain have agreed to work more closely in prosecuting those who spread spam.

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The move comes after the EU telecommunications council invited member states in December 2004 "to exchange their experience" and "co-ordinate their actions" in the fight against spam.

And the new agreement is another step towards a total ban on spam throughout the EU.

However, as most of the "spam" comes from countries outside the EU such as the US, China or Russia, the agreement may not be extensive enough.

CipherTrust, an email security company, estimated that nearly nine-tenths of all spam originates in the US and has cost European companies 85 billion euro over four years.

However, Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding said, "In parallel, we are working on cooperation with third countries both bilaterally and in international fora like the OECD and the International Telecommunication Union".

She also encouraged authorities from all other EU member states to join the agreement.

European anti-spam rules in force

As of Friday (31 October) the European Union member states have committed themselves to implementing a new directive banning e-mail spam - but only four countries have actually put the rules in place.

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