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The ITU New Initiatives Programme

Countering Spam

image of The ITU New Initiatives Programme

This publication presents the materials and conclusions of a thematic meeting on “Countering Spam” held by ITU from 7 to 9 July 2004, and forms part of the ITU New Initiatives Programme series. Among other things, the contributions delivered by the participants looked at the problem of finding a common approach to spam, and analyse issues ranging from technical solutions, different legislative approaches and international cooperation among different stakeholders. Also looked at is the problem of consumer awareness and education.

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Scope of the problem

As the Internet becomes increasingly accessible from all parts of the world, recent studies have revealed that more than half of all e-mail communications are constituted by spam messages. Spam activities are now spreading to mobile phone multi-media messaging services and instant messaging services. Spam is not only growing, but also evolving in its nature: the emergence of fraudulent spam raises issues for individuals and businesses alike, including invasion of privacy, exposure to illegal or offensive content, misleading trade practices and expense, menacing the effectiveness of electronic communication and legitimate online business. Spam that carries dangerous computer viruses also constitutes a threat to security of the information infrastructure.

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