[Politech] Canada's solution to stopping spam: "new, targeted legislation" [sp]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Wed May 18 2005 - 20:57:43 PDT

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Canadian Spam task force Final Report
Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 10:01:52 -0400
From: Neil Schwartzman <neil@private>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>

Hey Declan,

I forget if I mentioned to you that I was
involved with this shindig for the past year,
Michael Geist was as well - anyway, we kicked out
our final report yesterday and this is the
official press release.

Given the arduous process to get the thing
together (much friction between consumer's
advocacy groups and big business large ISPs who
are constitutionally adverse to any law intruding
on to 'their space', I was actually surprised to
find myself signing off on it, and being in
(almost) complete agreement with it all.

The Minister of Industry actually committed to a
six-month implementation plan for some 'but
probably not all' of the recommendations herein,
and while the lobbyists will no doubt be out in
force to try to water the thing down, seeing as
the published report is a public point of
reference - things seem to be pointed in a very,
very favourable direction here in Canada. I'm
pleased as punch, and I'm hoping this'll be yet
another brick in the global wall being build to
stop the pernicious spread of spam.

hope you are well, L8R



Date: 2005-05-17

OTTAWA, May 17, 2005 -- The Government of
Canada's Task Force on Spam today presented its
final report entitled, Stopping Spam: Creating a
Stronger, Safer Internet, to the Honourable David
L. Emerson, Minister of Industry.

The report calls for new, targeted legislation,
as well as more rigorous enforcement, which would
strengthen the legal and regulatory weapons that
Canada could use in the global battle against
spam. It also supports the creation of a focal
point within government for coordinating the
actions taken to address the spam issue and other
related problems like spyware.

Minister Emerson congratulated the members of the
Task Force on Spam for their work over the last

"We need to rid the Internet of the scourge of
spam if Canada is going to be able to reap the
full benefit of a strong e-economy," said
Minister Emerson. "These recommendations merit
strong consideration. I want to thank the Task
Force members for their time and effort."

Industry Canada established the Task Force on
Spam one year ago to oversee the implementation
of the government's Anti-Spam Action Plan and to
consider further action. The Task Force brought
together leading representatives of ISPs,
e-marketers, government and consumers. Working
group participation included over 60 stakeholder
groups, which provided input on such key areas as
legislation and enforcement, international
collaboration, and public education and awareness.
Under the leadership of the Task Force, these
groups have already implemented practical
measures aimed at reducing spam in Canada.
Anti-spam "best practices" for network management
and for commercial e-mail marketing are now in
place. The Task Force also launched the Stop Spam
Here Internet-based communications campaign to
inform users of steps that they can take to limit
and control the volume of spam they receive.

A detailed backgrounder on the final report is
attached. For more information on the Task Force
on Spam, including the report, please visit:

français -

For more information, please contact:

Christiane Fox

Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson

Minister of Industry

(613) 995-9001

Media Relations

Industry Canada

(613) 943-2502



Release of the Final Report of the Task Force on Spam

Government's Action Plan on Spam

On May 11, 2004, the Minister of Industry
released the Government of Canada's six-point
action plan on spam. The plan called on
government, industry, business and consumers to
work together on several initiatives, including:

         the use of existing laws and regulatory measures;

         the review of regulatory or legislative gaps;

         the improvement of current industry practices;

         the use of technology to validate legitimate commercial 

         the enhancement of consumer education and awareness; and

         the promotion of international collaboration.

Task Force on Spam

A ministerial task force was struck to implement
the action plan and to consider further action.
The Task Force on Spam mobilized a diverse group
of experts and stakeholders from industry,
business, government and non-governmental
organizations. Through its working groups, a
roundtable and an online public forum, the Task
Force consulted widely on the action plan.

Among the 60 stakeholders providing input were
groups representing major Canadian Internet
service providers (ISPs) and online businesses,
consumers, governments and educational

Task Force's Major Findings

The Task Force's consultations confirmed the
underlying principles of the government's action

Spam is more than a nuisance. It is increasingly
being used to carry viruses and worms, to commit
fraud, to steal personal information, and to
invade privacy. Not only do these activities
drive up the costs for both consumers and
businesses, but they also threaten the integrity
of the Internet as a platform for communications
and commerce.

To effectively combat spam, government, industry,
business and consumers must continue to work
together, using a variety of instruments -- from
clear laws with strong penalties and vigorous
enforcement, to sound business practices,
consumer awareness, public education and
international cooperation.

Task Force's Key Recommendations

Proposed legislation and more vigorous enforcement measures

Draft legislation to prohibit spam and to
safeguard personal information and privacy as
well as computers, e-mail and networks. The
proposed law should allow individuals and
corporations to sue spammers and hold the
businesses whose products or services are being
promoted through spam accountable.

As well, provide more resources to appropriate
agencies to administer and enforce the new and
existing anti-spam legislation.

Centre of expertise on spam

To oversee the coordination of all the spam
initiatives, the Task Force suggested the
creation of a focal point in government. The
centre would coordinate policy and education
campaigns, and support law enforcement efforts.
It would also receive complaints and compile
statistics on spam.

Strong industry best practices

To curb the volume of spam reaching users, the
Task Force developed a series of industry best
practices for ISPs, network operators and e-mail
marketers. Examples include allowing ISPs and
other network operators to block e-mail file
attachments known to carry viruses and to stop
e-mails with deceptive subject lines. As well,
e-mail marketers should obtain informed consent
from recipients to receive e-mails; provide an
opting-out mechanism for further e-mails; and
create a complaints system.

The report recommends that these groups
voluntarily adopt, regularly review and enhance
the best practices.

Public education campaign

To help change people's online behaviour, the
Task Force created an online public education
campaign, Stop Spam Here
http://www.stopspamhere.ca. Launched in December
2004, the Web site offers consumers, voluntary
organizations and businesses practical tips for
protecting their personal information, computers
and e-mail addresses. The Task Force recommends
that all partners continue to enhance the site's

Improved international cooperation and enforcement measures

As most of the spam reaching Canadians comes from
outside the country, international measures to
stem spam are vital. Therefore, the Task Force
proposes that the government continue its efforts
to harmonize anti-spam policies and to improve
cooperation in enforcing anti-spam laws among
different countries.

Task Force on Spam Members

Michael Binder, Assistant Deputy Minister,
Spectrum, Information Technologies and
Telecommunications, Industry Canada (Chair)

Lori Assheton-Smith, Senior Vice-President and
General Counsel, Canadian Cable
Telecommunications Association

Tom Copeland, President, Canadian Association of Internet Providers

Bernard Courtois, President, Information Technology Association of Canada

Michael Geist, Canadian Research Chair in
Internet and E-Commerce Law, University of Ottawa

Amanda Maltby, Senior Vice President, Ipsos-Reid
Public Affairs, representing the Canadian
Marketing Association

Suzanne Morin, Assistant General Counsel,
Regulatory Law and Policy, Bell Canada

Geneviève Reed, Head of Research and Representation, Option consommateurs

Neil Schwartzman, Chair, Canadian Coalition
Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail

Roger Tassé, Partner, Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP

Neil Schwartzman
Chair, Board of Directors & English Media Relations
CAUCE Canada: The Canadian Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
2305 Oxford Avenue
Montréal, Québec

[Tel]: [514] 485-4474 | [Fax]: [419] 793-0430
[AIM / MSN / Yahoo!]: CAUCECanada
[Web]: http://cauce.ca

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