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Date: 1999-08-07

Jetzt europaweit gegen UCE [Spam]

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q/depesche 99.8.7/1

Jetzt europaweit gegen UCE [Spam]

Nach dem überraschenden Erfolg der konzertierten Aktion
österreichischer Usergruppen und Konsumentenschützer im
Parlament gegen Unsolicited Commercial Email [UCE], auch
Spam genannt, folgt nun der nächste Schritt.

Die Konsumentenschützer der Arbeiterkammer in AT
versuchen, ihre Kolleg/inn/en in den übrigen Staaten der
Union, wo Spam gesetzlich noch nicht geächtet ist, zu

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Re Ban on unsolicited commercial e-mail and spamming

Dear Colleagues,

In its implementation of the distance selling directive, the
Austrian parliament has passed a law prohibiting unsolicited
commercial e-mail and spamming. This ban requested by
Austrian consumer organizations, Internet user groups and
the Austrian ISP (Internet Service Providers) was ultimately
passed by all political parties. Commercial e-mail may now
be sent only with the recipient's express consent (revocable
at any time).

The Austrian regulation was required for the following
reasons: - The mass sending of unsolicited commercial e-
mail (also known as "spamming") is one of the greatest
irritants on the Internet and tarnishes the reputation of
electronic commerce as a whole. - Unsolicited commercial e-
mail clogs users' electronic mailboxes, increases loading
times, and incurs costs for users. - There are no effective
technical means by which to intercept and filter out
undesirable commercial e-mail. The "opt out" approach
always suggested is not only technically complicated and
difficult to administer, it poses certain data protection
problems as well. - Since the sending of unsolicited e-mail
badly damages a firm's image, reputable companies
abandoned this practice long ago. Many marketing experts
also warn against using this form of advertising. - Spam
typically contains pyramid games, pornography and sham
offers designed to entice customers. - According to
traditional Internet etiquette ("Netiquette") in place for many
years now, nonconsensual advertising by e-mail is not

After Austria's and Italy's ban of unsolicited commercial e-
mail, Germany has now also followed suit. It appears only
sensible and indeed necessary to take the next step and
implement this ban and, with it, the traditional "opt-in"
approach at the European level.

The Austrian Federal Chamber of Labor urges you to support
this initiative and to promote it with appropriate lobbying and
other suitable activities aimed at the national ruling
governments (in light of their votes in the European Council),
the European Commission and the members of the European
Parliament. Given the current European rules, the European
Council is the only body able to set new legal and political
accents in the next phase of these efforts. The Internet user
groups in Central Europe also plan to launch activities at the
European level. It should be noted that many smaller
businesses and free lancers are also very hard hit by the
problem of spamming.


----------------------------------------------------------------- (Univ Doz Dr)
Karl Kollmann, Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour -
Consumer Policy Department, A-1040 Wien, Prinz Eugen Str
20-22, Tel. +43-1-50165-2307 Fax: +43-1-50165-2693 Mobile:
+436644537734 email at Vienna University of Economics: (small) email to SMS messages: ----------------------------------------------------

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edited by Harkank
published on: 1999-08-07
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