Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Outlawing Snow in Winter

SPAM! SPAM! SPAM! We hate it and we all get it. From the emails offering us millions of dollars to the one promising enhancements to that particular part of the male body, spam is not only annoying but it also uses a large amount of bandwidth. The numbers are staggering. Some estimate that spam is responsible for 90% of worldwide email traffic, costing US organizations over $13 billion dollars with an estimated 6.6 TRILLION spam messages in 2009.

It has been said that trying to legislate spam is like trying to outlaw snow in winter, but the Canadian government is finally trying to do something about it. Because of lax spam laws, Canada has been a haven for spammers, responsible for the 4th largest originators of spam in the world. Following the lead of the US and Australia, Canada has introduced legislation that would impose stiff fines on spammers. The proposed Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam law, or FISA, would enable the CRTC to impose fines of up to $1 million per violation for individuals and $10 million for businesses. The Canadian government also intends to create a spam reporting centre that will work with the three enforcement agencies (the CRTC, Competition Bureau Canada and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner), engage in public awareness, identify and analyze trends in online threats and engage in public awareness.

The Internet has become a major conduit of business transactions. The online marketplace represents a major segment of Canada’s economy, with $62.7 billion in sales in 2007. According to the International Data Corporation in 2007, worldwide electronic commerce has been projected to exceed $9.6 trillion in 2010. With numbers like these, and being the only G7 nation without anti-spamming laws, I'm relieved to see that the Canadian government is finally taking action to rid Canada's reputation of being a spammer's haven.

Although these measures will not stop all winter's snow, hopefully, it will reduce the size of the blizzards.

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