Thursday, April 28, 2005

RP joins Asia-wide anti-spam crusade

By Alexander Villafania,

THE PHILIPPINES has signed an Asia-wide multilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Korea, Australia, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore to develop cooperative mechanisms against worsening spam on the Internet.

The National Computer Center (NCC) and the Philippine Computer Emergency Response Team (PH-CERT) represented The Philippines in the MOU, which was initiated by the Korean Information and Security Agency (KIPA) and the Australian Communications Authority.

PH-CERT President Lito Averia said in an interview that this agreement would have each of the signatory countries sharing information on the technical and legal prevention of spam. Countries with existing anti-spam laws like Australia and South Korea will provide legal assistance to countries without such laws as yet.

The MOU is expected to strengthen anti-spam activities in all the signatory countries, particularly in the identification and prosecution of suspected spammers, Averia said. Atty. Claro Parlade of the Cyberspace Policy Center for the Asia Pacific will work on a legal framework for the Philippines, he added.

“Members of this anti-spam crusade could attend meetings, if necessary. Right now, our way of communications is through e-mail,” Averia said.

He pointed out that many governments are now making a concerted effort to stop the spread of spam, which is already considered an economic threat.

In the Asia Pacific alone, he noted, about 70 percent of all e-mails that go through are spam. The Philippines suffers nearly the same amount of spam as its Asian neighbors.

“It’s a worsening problem and there should be a global effort to stop the spread of spam. Our partnership with KIPA and ACA is a fair warning against spammers,” Averia said.

Averia is one of the two proponents of the Cybercrime Bill to which anti-spam provisions have been added.

In an earlier interview, Albert de la Cruz, a former committee chair of the Information Technology and E-Commerce Council, said the Cybercrime Bill that has gone through over a dozen drafts is now in the hands of the committee on information and communications technology at the House of Representatives.

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