The FTC announced on April 19 it joined its foreign partners in calling for stepped up cross-border law enforcement cooperation and increased public/private sector cooperation to combat spam. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) issued recommendations in this area on the same day.
To date, the FTC already has implemented many of the OECD recommendations. For example, it engages in aggressive law enforcement against international spammers; works with an international network of spam enforcement authorities; partners with the private sector on consumer education; and, encourages the private sector to implement domain-level authentication systems. In addition, the FTC suggested that Congress enact legislation called the US SAFE WEB Act that would give the FTC new tools to cooperate with foreign counterparts in fighting spam and other types of cross-border fraud.
The OECD is an international forum of 30 countries, including the United States, established to promote economic growth, trade, and development. Spam is a vehicle for deception, for spreading viruses and spyware, and for inducing consumers to provide confidential information that can later be used to commit identity theft. Spam poses unique challenges for law enforcement in that senders can send their messages from anywhere in the world to anyone in the world, thus making spam an international problem that must be addressed through international cooperation.