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Bravo to the Brits -- new anti-spam measures take aim at the profit

By Andrew Pollack on 08/20/2004 at 12:47 AM EDT

This article from the BBC reports that a new policy adopted by the London Internet Exchange -- a network where most of the UK providers connect to transfer data between them -- will now shut down firms that benefit from spam even if the spam is being sent from another network. BBC is reporting that more than 150 companies signed on to the new standards at an extraordinary general meeting of the Exchange.

According to the article, " shops and e-commerce websites will be shut down if the visitors they get have arrived because of a junk mail message." -- the articles goes on to say that the previous policy was a model used by other organizations all over the world, and they hope to get other countries (read: USA) to adopt the same policy. A recent study shows 86% of spam mail originates in the USA -- most of it in one city in Florida.

The articles does state the concern that a firm might use the rules to put a competitor out of business buy having spam sent that directs people to that site. Personally, I doubt this will be done much. First, it means the expense of paying the spammer, and second because it would likely be actionable under existing fraud laws in most places.

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