||FTC Joins Foreign
Partners in Recommending
International Efforts to Combat Spam
The FTC has joined its foreign partners in calling for stepped up
cross-border law enforcement cooperation and increased public/private
sector cooperation to combat spam. The Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued recommendations in this
area today. The OECD is an international forum of 30 countries,
including the United States, established to promote economic growth,
trade, and development.
Spam is a vehicle for deception, for spreading viruses and spyware,
and for inducing consumers to provide confidential information that
can later be used to commit identity theft. Spam poses unique challenges
for law enforcement in that senders can send their messages from
anywhere in the world to anyone in the world, thus making spam an
international problem that must be addressed through international
cooperation. The OECD’s specific recommendations to address
these challenges include the following:
Government enforcement agencies should have the necessary authority
to take action against spammers located in their territory or against
foreign spammers who target consumers in their territory.
Government enforcement agencies should have the ability to share
information with foreign law enforcement officials in appropriate
Government enforcement agencies should have the ability to provide
investigative assistance to foreign authorities in appropriate cases,
particularly in obtaining information or locating or identifying
Government enforcement agencies should partner with industry and
consumer groups to educate users and promote information sharing.
Government enforcement agencies should cooperate with the private
sector to facilitate the location and identification of spammers.
Countries should cooperate in international enforcement efforts;
efforts to reduce the incidence of inaccurate information about
holders of domain names; and efforts to make the Internet more secure.
The FTC has implemented many of the OECD recommendations. For example,
it has engaged in aggressive law enforcement against international
spammers; worked with an international network of spam enforcement
authorities; partnered with the private sector on consumer education;
and encouraged the private sector to implement domain-level authentication
systems. In addition, the FTC has suggested that Congress enact
legislation called the US SAFE WEB Act that would give the FTC new
tools to cooperate with foreign counterparts in fighting spam and
other types of cross-border fraud.
The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive,
and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide
information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file
a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available
to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer
topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use
the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm. The
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available
to thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the
U.S. and abroad.
© Contacto Magazine - September 28, 2006