ITU Home Page International Telecommunication Union Franšais | Espa˝ol 
Print Version 
ITU Home Page
Home : Office of the Secretary-General : CSD


ITU Activities on Countering Spam

Spam: a threat to the Information Society

Background resources

Unsolicited commercial communications by e-mail, or spam, as it is more usually known, has become one of the major plagues affecting today's digital world. In a short period, spam has become more prevalent than legitimate email correspondence with spammers sending hundreds of millions of messages per day.
What started out as a minor nuisance now causes significant financial costs and losses in productivity for service providers, businesses and end-users.

With the growing dependence of users on the Internet and e-mail for their personal and professional communications, the phenomenon of spam can seriously hamper the development of the digital economy and society by undermining user confidence in online activities.
ITU Survey on anti-spam legislation worldwide

 Please check existing information and add new information to the  ITU anti-spam survey 

In April 2005, in the framework of its "Countering Spam" activities, an ITU Survey on Anti-Spam Legislation Worldwide was conducted.

The aim of this Survey was to gather information regarding spam and legislation worldwide, including the authorities responsible for anti-spam measures in each country. Information is regularly updated.

Please, help us in updating the ITU anti-spam survey

If you have comments, or would like to provide any additional information, please contact the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) at cybersecurity (at)

WSIS and Spam

  WSIS Site

During the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003, spam was identified as a potential threat to the full utilization of the internet and e-mail.

Unsolicited commercial e-mail messages are undermining e-mail security and efficiency, and diminishing the confidence of users in communication technologies.

Summit participants affirmed that Spam is a "significant and growing problem for users, networks and the Internet as a whole" (WSIS Declaration, paragraph 37), which needs to be dealt with at "both national and international level" (WSIS Plan of Action, paragraph C5, d).

  Consultation Meetings on WSIS Action Line C5: Building Confidence and Security in the use of ICTs

In line with paragraph 108 and the Annex of the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society, ITU is organizing a Consultation on WSIS Action Line Facilitation for action line C5: Building confidence and security in the use of ICTs.

More information can be found here.
ITU activities on countering spam
 Report by the ITU Secretary General on Spam to ITU Council 2005 

ITU is implementing a series of cooperative activities on countering spam, in the shorter and longer term, to foster international cooperation, the creation of harmonized policy frameworks, and to promote the exchange of information and best practices, as well as to provide support to developing countries in the field of spam.

Information regarding these initiatives as well as a review of other international initiatives on countering spam are available here.

Latest spam news

News from the ITU SPU Newslog on SPAM  

[CaRP] XML error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 134

Spam and Cybersecurity
WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity - June 2005
The International Telecommunication Union  organized a WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity,  which took place from 28 June  to July 1 2005 at ITU headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to ongoing global efforts to counter spam and served as a follow-up to the ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam held in July 2004.

Progress on a number of anti-spam initiatives undertaken throughout the year were presented in addition to the results of an ITU survey done on countering spam initiatives and spam legislation worldwide.

Meeting page  

The Agenda focused on four main themes:

Are We Winning or Losing the War on Spam? 
  National Policies and Legislative Approaches
  International/Intergovernmental Cooperative Initiatives in Countering spam
Countering spam: The Way Forward

 WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam - July 2004

Past Workshop

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), held an ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Countering Spam from 7 to 9 July 2004, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Meeting documents and materials, including the Chairman's Report and the audio archives of the meeting are also available online.

International cooperation and spam

Background Resources

A multi-faceted approach is needed to fight spam effectively. Prevention, consumer awareness, filtering techniques and national laws will be of little use if effective international cooperation is not developed. International cooperation - which include bilateral and multilateral agreements - has two objectives:

to promote the adoption of appropriate and harmonized anti-spam legislation in countries which do not yet have it;

to encourage cooperation among countries, in order to tackle the problem of spam comprehensively and to ensure effective enforcement of applicable rules.

Consumer protection and awareness

Background resources

Spam is one of the major concerns for consumers accessing the Internet today. The necessity of creating effective information networks and spam-reporting mechanisms for users of the net should therefore not be underestimated.

Increased coordination between consumer associations and organizations, in particular with regard to the sharing of information and best practices, can prove crucial in this process.

Enhanced cooperation can allow consumers to further develop their skills in using electronic means of communication, allowing them to better protect themselves against spam and thus increasing influence.



Top -  Feedback -  Contact Us -  Copyright ę ITU 2011 All Rights Reserved
Contact for this page : Strategy and Policy Unit
Updated : 2011-04-04