The costs of spam are well-known and include:
and manpower invested to combat spam;
of valuable network resources;
productivity in terms of both manpower and equipment;
costs such as identity theft, financial theft, intellectual property theft,
malware infection, fraud, deceptive marketing and many others.
In general, the steps in a comprehensive approach to
combating spam are also well-known:
of technical measures;
of industry partnerships to accelerate studies;
and awareness raising;
There are a number of intergovernmental, private sector, and
consumer-driven initiatives currently addressing spam, but there is great deal
of fragmentation and inconsistency in the approaches. The goal of international
public policy should be elimination of fragmentation, consistency of approach,
facilitation and global support.
A starting point would be that spam is independent of
content and focuses on the characteristics of bulk messages which are
unsolicited. Though email is currently the principle vehicle for spam, the
definition should be relevant to any electronic communication.
The policy should recognize that electronic communication
does not respect borders or national norms. The policy should consider
anti-spam legislation which addresses not only the spammer but the enablers
including “rogue” ISPs, financing and even advertisers. It should facilitate
inter-agency cooperation within nations as well as trans-national cooperation.
Enforcement and cooperation would be simplified if one agency within each
nation were to be designated as principal coordinator and single point of
The policy should address a range of both preventive and
punitive actions aimed at discouraging spamming, as well as guidelines
designating the prime in both investigation and prosecution in trans-national
The policy should require commitment from all nations and
possibly even sanctions against safe havens.
The policy should recognize the roles of all stakeholders
and encourage appropriate technical developments, partnerships, research and
globally coordinated awareness programs.
Very importantly, the policy should recommend a watchdog
organization responsible for:
and reporting on implementation of national anti-spam legislation in general
conformance with the policy.
international or regional support systems and processes.
on research and development progress and innovation.
weaknesses and safe havens for possible international action.
Such a watchdog organization must be an intergovernmental
organization in the UN family, ensures balanced geographical representation and
participation from developing countries. Saudi Arabia is of the opinion that
ITU would be the appropriate choice as it has a wealth of work processes and
valuable experience in organizing and managing intergovernmental and