EU misses chance to put the lid on spam

The vote, 204 to 129 with 155 abstentions, will be hard to swallow for anti-spam campaigners already upset that their proposal to ban spam had been butchered by a parliamentary committee in July.

At that time the committee voted to base its proposals on the more lenient ‘opt-out’ approach rather than support a ban or the opt-in approach supported by European telecom ministers. Opt-in legislation would require recipients to give permission before any automatic emails could be sent.

The plan also called for strict rules on how cookies – files that are placed in the computer memory of web users to monitor their actions – are used by commercial websites. Now, it will have to be redrafted.

Anti-spam campaigners such as The European Internet Service Providers Association have previously said that, by taking a weak stance on consumer protection regarding spam, the European Parliament could damage its own credibility for dealing with data retention – a separate affair concerned with cracking down on cybercrime.

Those against the proposals, such as MEP Michael Cashman, have said that, as well as blocking nuisance email, the proposals would have hit the work of organisations such as charities.


Hotmail users face mass spamming

  • This article first appeared on

Related reading