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Spam Hits Developing Countries

International organization says poorer nations are struck hardest by spam and offers recommendations on how to deal with it

Developing nations are struck hardest by spam, which sucks up capacity and resources of Internet service providers and discourages consumers from using the Web, according to an international group.

While Internet service providers and consumers in more advanced economies also are affected by spam, those countries' network providers spend proportionately less fighting junk E-mail from marketers and scammers, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in a recent report. A much larger percentage of a developing country's ISP's budget is spent on hardware, bandwidth, and software licenses, so devoting additional resources to fighting spam hits those ISPs hardest, according to the report.

Consumers waste money downloading spam, since many ISPs in developing nations charge by the minute for dial-up access. Internet users in many of these countries rely on narrowband access at home or shared access at cybercafes, where connections are slow and users pay by the byte of data downloaded.

To attack the problem, the group recommends that nations with developed economies help poorer nations develop and build a legislative and regulatory framework to fight spam. The organization also encourages cooperation among law enforcement to investigate international spam gangs and enforce laws.

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