Ottawa – The Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) is pleased that the Conservative government has taken action to address junk email. With more than 97 per cent of all email considered to be spam, it will also be welcome news for Canadian Internet users.
In May 2004 the then-Liberal government announced the launch of an Anti-Spam Action Plan for Canada and established a government-private sector task force to oversee and implement the plan.
“In 12 short months we brought together a broad group of stakeholders to do what had never been done before,” states Tom Copeland, Chair of CAIP and a member of the federal task force. “We were able to create a plan that involved virtually anyone who sends or receives email. Our recommendations have been adopted around the world and now, I’m glad to say, will be recognized in Canada through the legislation presented today in the House of Commons.”
In the four years that have passed since the task force issued its report and recommendations, spam has grown to be an international problem costing businesses billions of dollars each year in lost productivity, added network management expense and fraud.
Spam is more than just unwanted email messages. It has become a platform for highly organized criminal activity involving fraud and identity theft. Much of this activity is the result of computers being infected through spam.
“With millions of infected computers on the Internet sending spam, the problem will spin out of control unless we have additional tools,” says Copeland. “Technology has been working well, but without the added clout of civil and criminal liability, spammers and criminals will continue to try to thwart technical solutions.”
Today’s legislation also helps to fulfill Canada’s international commitment to cooperate and coordinate efforts on an international basis. This is viewed as a critical element to battling internationally distributed robotic networks, or botnets, that are the source of most spam and computer infections.
Copeland summarizes, “Today’s announcement is good news for Canadian citizens and businesses, and will restore confidence in Internet communications.”