The United Nations has decided to tackle spam – and it thinks it can do it within two years by standardising legislation around the world. The International Telecommunications Union is hosting a meeting on spam in Geneva bringing together regulators from 60 countries, the Council of Europe and the World Trade Organisation.
Hopefully their anti-spam strategy will be to get them all in one room and crack their heads together until they agree to do something for a change. Yes, I have had a lot of spam today, thanks for asking.
“(We have) an epidemic on our hands that we need to learn how to control,” Robert Horton, the acting chief of the Australian communications authority, told reporters: “International cooperation is the ultimate goal.”
The UN intends to provide examples of anti-spam legislation for countries to adopt, to make prosecution and cross-border co-operation easier. How this will be regarded in countries that make a profit from sending spam is yet to be seen.
“If we don’t work together,” said Robert Shaw, Internet strategy expert with the United Nations’ International Telecommunications Union (ITU), “we may see millions of people abandoning the Net entirely, out of frustration and disgust.”
You’ve got that right, Bob. I’ll be back in two years to see if the UN’s strategy worked.
The ITU estimates that 85% of all email is now spam, compared to “just” 35% last year, and that anti-spam protection now costs computer users US$25 billion (€20.2 billion) a year. Roughly enough to feed everyone on the planet.