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Re: Proposed EU Directive on Electronic Commerce

  • To: Beebit < >
  • From: Ragnar Lonn < >
  • Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 10:40:14 +0100 (MET)

If the spammers are forced to use a generic label, e.g. a mail
header saying "X-UCE: Yes", or perhaps include "UCE" in the subject line,
that would make server side spam filtering a breeze and that would mean
most major ISPs would filter away to their hearts content, which in turn
would likely reduce the effectiveness of spamming to such a degree that
the whole practice of spamming/UCE suddenly becomes unprofitable. If it
does become unprofitable, spamming will more or less cease, and we will
get back the resources that are currently swamped by having to deal with
all the UCE.

The important thing is to make the spam easily identifiable by
machines, not just humans. If spammers are allowed to mark their email as
UCE in any way they see fit, just as long as a human can understand
it, we may have a problem.


On Thu, 14 Jan 1999, Beebit wrote:

> If you have not done so already, please have a look at
> which contains text and commentary on a proposed EU Directive.  Of
> particular interest to this forum is:-
> Article 7
> Unsolicited commercial communication
> Member States shall lay down in their legislation that unsolicited
> commercial communication by electronic mail must be clearly and
> unequivocally identifiable as such as soon as it is received by the
> recipient.
> *Commentary*
> This Article deals with spamming practices, i.e. the sending of
> unsolicited e-mail to consumers or discussion groups. The need to protect
> the consumer demands solutions over and above those which already exist in
> Article 10(2) of Directive 97/7/EC 23 and Article 12(2) of European
> Parliament and Council Directive 97/66/EC concerning the processing of
> personal data and the protection of privacy in the telecommunications
> sector.
> This Article requires unsolicited communications to have a specific message
> on the envelope so that the recipient can instantly identify it as a
> commercial communication without having to open it.
> ~~~
> In its "raw" form, the proposed Directive would do nothing to address the
> problem of "cost shifting" which causes most of the opposition to
> Unsolicited Broadcast Email.  It is being suggested in discussions within
> the German Multimedia Association that the "labeling" requirement would
> facilitate server-side filtering.
> Server-side filtering would eliminate storage costs as the offending
> material would never make it to the POP3 mailbox, and of course eliminate
> the direct costs (connect time and telecommunications charges) paid by the
> subscriber.  Set against this would be costs of implementing and
> maintaining the filters and possible degradation of network performance as
> the external pipes are still full of traffic which no one wants.
> I would be very interested in seeing the reactions of ISP operators to this
> provision of the proposed Directive.
> George W. Mills, pro-tempore Chair
> European Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
> -- 
> Spammer - Schwarzfahrer der Infobahn (Bezahlen muessen Andere)
>         - Fare dodger on the Infobahn (Others must pay)
> Help put an end to the free ride for yUCErs,

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