EC urges UK and Europe to do more about spam


The European Commission has urged EU countries to do more to tackle spam and secure online privacy.

The EC recognised countries like the UK had made efforts to fight the war against spam, but claimed that there was a need for clearer enforcement rules, better international cooperation and new legislation.

The call comes as it released a European report showing that in Britain although spam and spyware issues received considerable publicity, few formal controls or cooperation procedures existed.

For example, Ofcom did not regulate internet content and would advise people with concerns to go to ISPs.

Also, the report said that while legislation had been introduced, sanctions were still limited and the agencies charged with enforcing the rules had few resources.

There was good news in terms of Europe, with almost all countries having one or more websites where they could find information or make a complaint.

Viviane Reding, the EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, believed that the war against spam was an area that needed to be better fought.

She said in a statement: "Although since 2002, European law has prohibited spam and spyware, on average 65 per cent 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 string civil and criminal sanctions against spammers."