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 Monday, October 31, 2005

On the agenda at the Study Group 17 meeting was spam.
 
The Study Group's response to a call from WTSA, the quadrennial event that defines study areas for ITU-T, is the development of a work programme on countering spam by technical means. Chair Herb Bertine said that he has seen a significant number of contributions in this area.

 
With spam having grown into one of the major plagues affecting the digital world, causing additional costs and loss of revenue to Internet service providers, telecoms operators and business users, measures to combat it have taken on an added sense of urgency. Technical measures are an important way to counter spam.
 
Key objectives of the work programme will be to identify and examine the telecommunication network security risks introduced by the constantly changing nature of spam and produce a comprehensive and up-to-date resource list of the existing technical measures for countering spam in a telecommunication network. The Study Group will examine issues including: what risks does spam pose to the telecommunication network, what technical factors associated with the telecommunication network contribute to the difficulty of identifying the sources of spam, how can new technologies lead to opportunities to counter spam and enhance the security of the telecommunication network, and do advanced telecommunication network technologies (for example, SMS, instant messaging, VoIP) offer unique opportunities for spam that require unique solutions?
 
Jianyong Chen who is the ITU-T expert leading the work (SG 17 Vice Chair): “The fight against spam is being fought on many fronts, policy, regulatory, legal and technical. Fighting spam by technical means will mean an examination of how those that send out spam operate, but also we will seek to cooperate with other relevant standards developing organizations (SDOs) and reference their works in the field, rather than duplicating any of the good work that has gone before.”   
 
The current work programme includes standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on topics such as; Guidelines on countering e-mail SPAM; Requirements on countering SPAM; Technical framework for countering e-mail SPAM; Overview of countering SPAM for IP multimedia applications; Technical means for countering SPAM. The first two Recommendations are aimed for approval in the second half of 2006.

WTSA Resolution 52.