EU, Asia to stamp out spam

Brussels, Feb 25 | Updated: Feb 26 2005, 05:30am hrs
The European Commission announced on Friday a joint EU-Asean initiative to clamp down on internet spam, which constitutes an estimated 60% of all e-mail sent around the world. The European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) signed an accord at a conference on electronic commerce this week, the EUs executive arm said.

The EU cannot act alone in the fight against spam as it is essentially borderless, EU information society and media commissioner Viviane Reding said in a statement. It is crucial that the problem be taken seriously in every part of the world and in particular in regions where a lot of spam is reported to originate, she added.

The EU Commission cited experts estimates that 20% of global spam typically involving bulk marketing or pornographic offers originates in in China and South Korea alone.

At an EU-Asean conference in London this week, the EUs 25 member-states and 13 Asian partner countries agreed notably to boost legal tools to fight spam as well as constantly seek new technical means of blocking the unwanted mails. The European and Asian countries agreed to meet regularly to discuss what further action can be taken.

Worryingly, spam e-mail undermines consumer confidence in e-commerce ... success in combating it is vital to boost trade and investment through online technologies, said the EU Commission.