EU presidency paper on spam

By EDRi · December 2, 2004

The Dutch EU Presidency of the EU had published a rather thin paper on spam. The Presidency ‘sees spam as a priority issue’ and is looking for ‘short-term practical measures and quick wins’. The paper will be on the agenda of the Telecommunications Council on 9 December 2004.

The paper mentions that the Commission has created a contact network of spam enforcing bodies in the EU called CNSA. Also, the French and Dutch responsible authorities (CNIL and OPTA) have prepared a co-operation protocol, that is expected to enter into force before the end of 2004. A questionnaire was sent out by the European Commission to industry and government in October 2004. The results show that the difference in implementation of the enforcement of the spam-ban causes lots of problems. The paper mentions a large variety in financial penalties, from 145 euro per spam message to an administrative fine of 450.000 euro. Precisely one sentence is dedicated to the most hotly debated controversy caused by Article 13 of the Privacy Directive of 2002, whether the spam-ban only applies to natural persons, or also to business recipients. The Presidency offers no solution or recommendation for this problem.

The paper recommends the European Commission should do a fast evaluation of the e-Privacy directive of 2002, not to start at the end of 2006, but early in 2005. Secondly, the paper recommends raising user awareness of the security-risks involved with spam and identity phishing. “It is important that member states can learn from each other and exchange ideas and experiences on awareness campaigns.”

EU Presidency paper on spam (24.11.2004)