ACCC joins global spam war

Australia's consumer watchdog and other global agencies have appealed to Internet service providers (ISP) to block spam.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today said it had sent letters to communications companies worldwide as part of a global campaign with law enforcement agencies.

ACCC acting chairman Sitesh Bhojani said spammers use open communications ports to send huge volumes of 'distasteful, perverse material' including get-rich-quick schemes, miracle cures and pornographic material.

"In the first action in Australia since the issuing of spam recommendations to government, law enforcement officers have identified 1000 open ports across the world that can be used as relays for sending spam," Bhojani said in a statement.

"The operators of these ports have been sent letters from enforcement agencies asking them to close them down, reducing the opportunities for spammers."

The action is part of a worldwide effort to stamp out spam, which is estimated to be about 20 per cent of e-mails in Australia.

Last year Australia's spam count topped one billion messages, more than double the previous year.

In April, the Internet Industry Association, Internet service providers and the federal government declared war on spam with legislation expected to be introduced in 2004.

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