The London Internet Exchange (Linx), the UK's most influential ISP organisation, has agreed tough new antispam guidelines.
The “Best Current Practice” (BCP) code was passed unanimously by Linx members and will be considered best practice for its 150 high-level ISPs.
The guidelines are designed to enable ISPs to close down spammers who host e-commerce sites on a legitimate network ,while sending bulk spam via third parties, more quickly.
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They also make clear that members should clamp down on sites that sell spamming tools.
Although it has no legal force the antispam BCPs will be used by Linx to exert peer pressure on member ISPs, although it's not clear how many of them already use such codes on an informal basis.
However, according to Linx spokesperson Malcolm Hutty, at least one large UK ISP left the meeting resolved to use the new guidelines to change the terms and conditions for customers of its network.
Hutty pointed to the success of the previous antispam BCP, agreed in 1999, which he claimed had cut the number of open
e-mail relays which could be used to send spam from about 20% to less than 1% by 2003 .
The rising costs of spam for ISPs, both in hardware and, increasingly, the cost of supporting customers who complained about problems with bulk e-mail, meant the revised code was needed, Hutty said.
“We will be working to spread this standard beyond the UK. We shall also be asking for support from the Government at the World Summit on the Information Society, OECD and other international forums,” said Hutty.
John E Dunn writes for IDG News Service