Canada Continues Fight on Spam
Canadians feel that just within few years' time unsolicited commercial
e-mails generally known as 'spam' has transited from a minor offense to a
significant social and economic issue. Spam has resulted in exhaustion of
business and human productivity of the nation. It is a major hurdle to
efficient use of e-mail for personal and business interactions and also
impedes on the validity and growth of legitimate e-commerce.
Technology consultant Neil Schwartzman, a member of Industry Canada's
'spam task force' fears that Industry Minister Maxime Bernier is not
giving due attention to the continuous growth of unsolicited e-mail. He
says that he is worried about Bernier's silence on this matter since he
has taken charge of the ministry in February. But the government official
says there has been substantial progress. On May 11, 2004 the minister
launched a 'Special Task Force on Spam' to bring down the volume of spam
Once Canada was among the top ten spam producers in the world but current
efforts by ISPs has pulled the country to the 16th position. However, spam
from other countries continues to invade Canadian computers as spammers
find ever more new techniques to fool the people.
While in general spam mails contain offers of cheap aphrodisiacs or
booming company stocks, some spammers distribute phishing mails. These
mails appear like legitimate messages from the recipients' banks but are
actually fraud. Usually the message tries to extract the user's
confidential account numbers. Some spammers attach viruses to the spam
mail, which when opened infects the system. The viruses called 'botnets'
enable the spammer to access the user's home PC. There are other botnets,
which allow to remotely controlling the emergency room doors in hospitals
or local 911 networks.
Apart from jamming the Canadian Internet networks the foreign-based spam
is also hitting Canadian money banks. Estimates show that Internet users
are spending an excess of $60 a year so that Internet providers can add to
the security measures to counter spam.
The spam problem needs to be tackled by co-coordinated action. To
implement a tough anti-spam law Canada can follow the examples of New
Zealand, Japan and Australia.
Related article: Canada - A Major Stimulator of Spam, Says Cisco
» SPAMfighter News - 11-09-2006