- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in case vs. ‘American Sniper’ author Chris Kyle
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
Nations to release anti-spam guidelines
Question of the Day
Government officials and anti-spam groups from more than 60 countries today will issue some of the first widely accepted guidelines on how nations can work together to stop the senders of spam, or junk e-mail.
After a three-day meeting held by the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union in Geneva, countries working to fend off billions of spam messages will issue a report outlining how to streamline international cooperation in the fight against spam. Those attending the meeting said they are one step closer to signing a treaty that bans spam worldwide.
Talks yesterday centered on how countries can craft and enforce laws to cut down on spam, which makes up more than two-thirds of all e-mail sent worldwide, costing businesses billions of dollars in services and lost productivity. The majority of spam now is sent or routed from one country to another, making the enforcement of most anti-spam laws nearly impossible without international cooperation.
“The challenge is not finding the illegal conduct; it is finding the wrongdoers and doing something effective about that,” said Hugh Stevenson, the Federal Trade Commission’s associate director for international consumer protection. “It can be a challenge because of the many systems we all have.”
Several countries, including the United States, touted the recent arrests of several spammers under their own laws and outlined the agreements they have signed that allow nations to help enforce each other’s anti-spam statutes. But those agreements, in most cases, have involved just two nations at a time and have yet to include developing countries that have few resources to throw at the spam problem.
Today’s report is expected to provide guidance on how countries can help each other find and prosecute spammers, while making investigations faster and less expensive.
“How do we decrease the cost of identifying spammers? We share information, we don’t step on each other toes, we don’t duplicate efforts,” said Matthew Prince, founder of Unspam, a Chicago company that has consulted on anti-spam legislation. “If one country is investigating a spammer, we have a network where we can share information on what needs to be done.”
Some people who attended the conference said they were concerned that the report will not present anything concrete or binding and will fall short of establishing rules that will get spam under control in two years, as some organizers had predicted this week. Other critics said the conference has been too focused on legislative, rather than technological, solutions to the spam problem.
“I need in your repertoire something clear to tell me what I am supposed to do,” said one frustrated Syrian government official. “Please tell us where to go. We need a conclusion. We don’t want to sit for three days with no conclusion.”
Ohers said this week’s conference was an encouraging start, because it was the first time that a group of this size has met to discuss the spam problem.
“It’s encouraging that the international community is coming together in these preliminary discussions and beginning to talk about a framework around which further cooperation can be built,” Mr. Prince said.
Officials said today’s report will not be the last word on international cooperation in fighting spam.
“I’d like to come back in a year when there’s an international treaty on the table that we sign,” said Derek Wyatt, a member of the British Parliament who spearheaded the creation of anti-spam legislation in the United Kingdom.
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Obama: 'Not a new Cold War,' but new Russia sanctions announced
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Murdered teen texted boyfriend: 'OMG ... I think I'm being kidnapped'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Jury awards Jesse Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world