Politicians form transatlantic spam alliance

The US Congressional Internet Caucus, the body charged with educating US lawmakers about the Internet and fostering its growth, is teaming up with its U.K.

The US Congressional Internet Caucus, the body charged with educating US lawmakers about the Internet and fostering its growth, is teaming up with its U.K. counterpart to tackle spam.

The move will improve communication between the two countries on e-commerce, as well as help tighten laws on unsolicited bulk e-mail, said Derek Wyatt, chairman of the UK body, the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group.

"We'll share best practices on spam," Wyatt told ZDNet UK. "And we'll be having a joint meeting every year either here or over there. That will really help to beat things like spam and spim (spam over instant messaging)."

Wyatt began his fight against spam two years ago, when he developed a personal dislike for junk e-mail.

On April 5, Wyatt plans to introduce a 10-minute rule bill in UK Parliament to discuss updating the UK's Computer Misuse Act. The All Party Parliamentary Internet Group is pushing for the criminalisation of denial-of-service attacks and to lengthen jail sentences for hacking crimes from one to two years. The group hopes that by increasing penalties, it can make hacking an extraditable offense.

The Congressional Internet Caucus, formed in 1996, focuses on a range of issues, including security, digital rights management and wireless technology. The bipartisan caucus counts 170 senators and congressmen as its members. It also has an extensive advisory board that includes many technology companies.