Spam ban gets industry green light

Brightmail, a leading anti-spam software company, has welcomed the Government’s announcement that the process to introduce anti-spam laws by the October 31 deadline has now begun.

Brightmail chief executive Enrique Salem says any new legislation will be “a very important tool in the fight against unsolicited commercial e-mail. Spam is more than a nuisance; it is costly to businesses, offensive to internet users and is actively damaging their trust in the internet.”

His statement follows the Government’s announcement that it is laying before Parliament the legislation to implement the European Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications. This includes introducing laws to prosecute spammers and allows internet users to opt-in to receive commercial e-mail.

Unsolicited commercial e-mail has become a major problem in 2003. Brightmail, which filters more than 61 billion e-mails a month for spam and stops more than a billion spam mails a day, calculates that at least 50 per cent of internet e-mail is spam. A large proportion of this is offensive pornographic material – 12 per cent – or criminal scams – ten per cent.

The implementation of these laws follows a period of consultation, in which Brightmail took part, and the UK’s first Spam Summit of UK Government, MPs, industry and the general public, which Brightmail sponsored and addressed in July 2003.

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