UK laws are failing to deter spam: UK spam laws are failing to stop spammers, say campaigners. According to anti-spam organisation Spamhaus, loopholes in UK law render legislation useless in the fight against spammers. The majority of spam originates from the US but there are a handful of hardcore UK-based spammers. Since the law came into force over a year ago no UK spammers have been fined or prosecuted.
Internet service provider AOL is becoming frustrated by the lack of effective anti-spam laws in the UK. "While the volume of spam originating in the UK may be lower than many countries, strong anti-spam legislation sends the right signal," said a spokesman for AOL. "We would like more legal avenues in the UK to hit spammers where it really hurts - in the pocket," he said.
The problem lies in loopholes which effectively give spammers the right to spam any address in the UK, said Steve Linford, who heads up Spamhaus. "British law allows spammers to spam business addresses and it is up to spammers to determine whether an address is a private one or a business one," he told the BBC News website. "Apparently the Department of Trade and Industry was told that British businesses wanted spam, although we have never heard of any," he said.
The job of enforcing the spam law falls to the Office of the Information Commissioner, which admits that it finds it hard to deal with the problem. "It is hard to prove anything because it is difficult to track spammers down. The power of the Information Commissioner is sadly limited although he is calling for greater powers," said a spokesperson.
Even if the Information Commissioner manages to track a UK-based spammer down, the penalty of fines up to £5,000 is not harsh enough thinks Mr Linford. "Some spammers make that amount in a day," he said. UK spammers account for less than 2% of all junk e-mails with the lion's share of spam coming from the US.
From BBC via [my weblog]