Anti-spam groups slam Government initiative

The anti-spam industry has hit out at proposals put forward at the International Spam Enforcement Workshop.

The London Action Plan, which aims to improve communication between Governments, has been criticised for not addressing the real issues. Ideas regarding internet postage have also been largely slated.

"It really didn't get us very far," said Steve Linford, founder of Spamhaus. "It's no use encouraging international cooperation when there is no ability to chase criminals across borders."

John Vickers, chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, highlighted how the event sought to tackle spam. "Spam is threatening the enormous potential for good that ecommerce, and the web generally, has opened up. The London Action Plan highlights a true international commitment to fighting it."

This plan has been dismissed. "The problem is we already know who the spam gangs are. What is lacking are the law enforcement resources to go after them. And there was no progress made on this front," said Linford.

Alyn Hockey, technical director at Clearswift suggested that a broader approach is necessary. "Although more dialogue is always useful, we really require a two pronged attack. Through legislation and technology a solution can be found."

Sections of the anti-spam industry were quick to dismiss Vickers' suggestion that ISPs should charge for unwanted marketing emails. Hockey described the idea as "unrealistic".

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