Spam under fire from UK government

A proposed crackdown on unsolicited emails will, says the government, clamp down on 'the curse of the Internet'. Critics are not so sure. Internet and mobile phone users will be better protected from spam under proposals unveiled on Thursday, the UK government believes. Under the plans UK companies will only be able to send unsolicited communications to customers who have already given their permission. Existing customers will still need to opt-out of receiving spam emails and SMSs.

Firms will also have to inform Internet users about any cookies operating on their Web sites, giving them the chance to reject such tracking devices. Launching a consultation on the proposals on Thursday, e-commerce minister Stephen Timms warned that unsolicited emails and text messages need to be controlled for the sake of the future of electronic communication systems.

"Spam has become the curse of the Internet," said Timms. "It is a source of major frustration as it clogs up inboxes the world over. Just as Internet and mobile technologies have become a firm feature of our lives, spam is threatening that status. It is in danger of becoming a real deterrent to online communication."

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News source: ZDNet UK

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