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Anti-spam plan goes global

October 14, 2004

FTC joins with international agencies to adopt action plan

Inman News

The Federal Trade Commission has joined forces with agencies around the world to combat spam on a global level with an Action Plan on Spam Enforcement. Agencies from 15 countries announced the Action Plan on Monday during a conference of international spam enforcement agencies in London.

The Action Plan calls for increased investigative training, the establishment of points of contact in each agency to respond quickly and effectively to enforcement inquiries, and the creation of an international working group on spam enforcement. The plan builds on prior efforts of international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Telecommunications Union, the European Union, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative Forum toward building international cooperation on spam.

"We are all united by a common goal: to stop deceptive and fraudulent spam from flooding our e-mail boxes, threatening our data security, and undermining e-mail’s effectiveness as a tool for commerce and communication," said FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras.

Majoras emphasized the importance of instant information-sharing. "Spammers move fast; we must move even faster," she said.

The conference was the first international forum to address spam enforcement issues exclusively. Consumer protection, data protection and telecommunications agencies from more than 20 countries gathered to promote greater cross-border cooperation in the fight against spam and related problems like Internet fraud and computer viruses. Participants discussed ways to improve international communication to ensure quick cooperation on spam investigations.

The conference included sessions on the comparative enforcement power of various government agencies, investigative techniques, cooperation with the private sector and the development of an effective international law enforcement framework to fight spam through multilateral agreements between agencies.

Majoras added: "As a global community, we can send a message to those spammers who saturate our in-boxes: You can no longer use a national border as a shield from law enforcement. The world is watching you, and together we will stop you."

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