European anti-spam legislation won’t do a thing to quench the flood of junk email across the region, says a report from the University of Amsterdam.
Why? Because Europe isn’t sending the bulk of it. As the study say “The simple fact that most spam originates from outside the EU restricts the European Union’s Directive’s effectiveness considerably.”
The study was conducted over nine months by Dr Lodewijk Asscher and a team at the Institute for Information Law at the university.
Europe’s guidelines for direct marketing are contained in the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communication. The directive was passed in July 2002 and the compliance deadline was six months ago. So of course, you’ve been seeing less spam since then. Yes, we thought the real outcome was different too.
The legislation requires that users only receive bulk emails that they have opted-in to. Nice idea but since opting-in is a key way that spammers harvest addresses in the first place, and the legislation is yet to make a single prosecution against a spammer, the model is somewhat flawed.
In fact, the directive is so duff that Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal haven’t even bothered implementing it yet and have been threatened with legal action.
In order for anti-spam legislation to work, all countries have to have compatible directives in place. Since there is a lot of money in spam for some regions, this is going to be difficult.