TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: EU Says Spam Now 70-80 Percent of all Email

EU Says Spam Now 70-80 Percent of all Email

Associated Press news Wire (
Mon, 27 Nov 2006 13:29:06 -0600

Unsolicited e-mails continue to plague Europeans and account for between
50 and 80 percent of all messages sent to mail inboxes, the European
Commission said Monday, but the Commission noted that "in the USA,
spam, porn and fraud email has been holding at 80-90 percent for some

EU Media Commissioner Viviane Reding called on EU governments to step
up their fight against spam, spyware and other illegal online
activities and implement EU rules to improve Internet safety.

An EU report found that only two EU nations -- the Netherlands and
Finland -- were making inroads in enforcing the 2002 law to crack down on
spam. Both those nations have said they just will not tolerate it.

"Spam is still ... making up to between 50 and 80 percent of the mails
that we are receiving in Europe and two-thirds of that is coming from
outside the European Union, mainly the United States," said EU
spokesman Martin Selmayr.

Selmayr said Dutch authorities were able to reduce spam by 85 percent by
using fines to get businesses to fall in line with the EU rule.

The Dutch telecommunications watchdog OPTA slapped euro60,000 ($78,500)
in fines on three companies late last year for sending spam, and the
Commission wants other governments to act as well, Reding said. Dutch
OPTA also suggests 'jail time for offenders may be needed.'

"I'd like to see other countries achieving similar results through more
efficient enforcement," she said in a statement.

EU officials have said they will put forward new legislation next year
to make it easier to prosecute spammers on an EU-wide basis.

Monday's EU report said spam cost euro39 billion ($51.1 billion)
worldwide last year, according to San Francisco-based Ferris Research

Selmayr said the biggest culprit of spam remains the United States,
which accounts for 21.6 percent of spam coming into the 25-nation EU.
China is the second-biggest producer with 13.4 percent, while EU member
France is third with 6.3 percent.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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