OECD Gives Task Force Two Years To Cut Spam

By Agence France-Presse The OECD said it has set up a task force to coordinate the fight by government, business and the public against unsolicited e-mail messages, or spam. It has given the new group two years to study spam and develop a counter strategy. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a statement the task force would improve the way work on key aspects of the problem was focused and would improve coordination between various bodies looking at the issue. Key objectives included coordinating international policy, encouraging best practice in industry and business, promoting new technical defenses, informing consumers, and facilitating cross-border law enforcement. Some studies indicate that unwanted advertising now accounts for up to 75% or 85% of inbound electronic mail, according to the United Nation's International Telecommunications Union. An EU study has estimated that the worldwide cost to Internet subscribers is around 10 billion euros (US$12.3 billion) a year, not least because of hours lost deleting such messages from e-mail in-boxes. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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