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UK Parliamentary Group Modifies Spam Demands On United States

by Robin Pilgrim, LawAndTax-News.com, London

30 October 2003


Following a visit to Washington earlier this month, the UK's All Party Parliamentary Internet Group (APIG) appears to have softened its stance on the position which should be adopted by the US authorities with regard to spam.

The majority of legislative proposals currently before Congress place the onus on internet users to 'opt out' of commercial mailing lists, rather than on spammers to respect an 'opt in' system, as favoured by the European Union.

Speaking earlier this month, joint vice-chairman of the APIG, Richard Allen warned that if the United States adopted regulations which were at odds with the EU's rules, it could "potentially make matters worse which is why we are going to Washington to beat the drum."

However, according to reports, following the Group's return from the United States, members of the delegation have suggested that identical legislation in both regions may not, in fact, be necessary.

"We found it a useful trip and the representatives we met understand the issues...The decision was not to get involved in an argument over legislation but to find a way of working together," APIG treasurer, Brian White explained to Vnunet.com, a technology news service.

He went on to suggest that existing UK laws, such as the Computer Misuse Act could be used to bring down US spammers.

"We must stop thinking of spam as an irritant and think of it as a threat. Spammers are using hacker techniques such as viral software, which breaks the Computer Misuse Act. We would ask for extradition if they broke the law here," he explained.


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