European Commission produces a study on tackling spam
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15 October 2009
The European Commission has urged the UK and other European
member to do more to tackle spam and should start by taking a more co-ordinated
approach to the problem.
A new study to be published this week states that in the UK,
relatively few formal controls or co-operation procedures exist to tackle spam
and malware, although the government does have a record of working with ISPs and
businesses on the problem.
The report said: 'Although legislation has been introduced,
sanctions are limited, and few resources have been allocated to the agencies
charged with enforcing the rules, No cases have been reported of action being
taken against spammers.'
Information commissioner Viviane Reding said the majority of EU
citizens were affected by unwanted email even though European anti-spam
legislation is seven years old.
He went on to say: 'Although since 2002, European law has
prohibited spam and spyware, on average 65 percent of EU citizens are still
affected by spam on a regular basis. We need to step up our fight against
spammers and make sure that the EU adopts legislation that provides for strong
civil and criminal sanctions against spammers.'
In the past three years, Spain and Slovakia have seen the
highest amount of enforcement, with each taking action against 39 people for
spamming or distributing malware. Romania comes next, with 20 cases.
In addition, the study found fines vary widely. At the high end,
the Netherlands saw a €1m fine (£930m), and several other countries, such
as Romania, Ireland and Latvia, imposed fines ranging from hundreds of euros to
several thousand euros.
Reding said the Commission's telecom package which has been in
the pipeline for over two years, would provide conditions for the better
enforcement of privacy rules.
'A new provision in the EU telecoms rules requires that
penalties for breaking national laws on online privacy should be effective,
proportionate and dissuasive. It further obliges EU countries to allocate the
necessary resources to national enforcement authorities.'
Jane Coyle is a trainee solicitor at Lawdit and can be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-10-16 19:59:59 in Legal Articles