EU lashes out against spam emails

85 per cent of all email traffic in Europe is spam

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The European Commission is getting annoyed about the amount of spam emails circulating within the EU, and is threatening member states with new spam directives unless they crack down on the problem.

Spam emails account for 85 per cent of all email traffic in the EU, and now Viviane Reding, EU's information society and media commissioner, has said enough is enough.

She advises EU member states to step up their actions to prosecute illegal online activities such as spam, spyware and malicious software. Otherwise, new EU directives against spam could be on the cards. The latest directives on spam can be found on the EU website.

Poor effort

So far, only a few European countries are working to reduce spam. In Holland, the OTPA group has five full time employees and is working solely with spam problems. Using its 570,000 euros (£385,206) worth of equipment, the group has managed to reduce Holland's spam by 85 per cent.

Finland has also managed to severely reduce its spam levels, from 80 per cent to 30 per cent, through various filtering measures.

The US still leads the way in spam. About one in every five (22 per cent) spam emails sent to European countries originate in the US.

China grabs the doubful honour of second place, with 13 per cent of EU spam on its conscience, whilst France and South Korea share the third place. Anna Lagerkvist