Spam

SPAM

Spam is an endemic and massive phenomenon: 200 billion unwanted mails are sent every day, i.e. between 85% and 95% of the volume exchanged daily. Beyond the figures, spam is above all a threat that is all the more difficult to apprehend because the perception of an email is eminently subjective and cybercriminals play on this variable geometry perception. 

Spam is defined in France by the Loi de Confiance en l'Économie Numérique (LCEN - article L34-5 of the Electronic Communications and Posts Code). The article also explicitly refers to the French Data Protection Act (Loi Informatique et Libertés) with regard to the supervision of the (fair) collection and storage of personal data.

Beyond the strict definition of spam, there is the question of how Internet users feel about communications that saturate their space for exchange and information. Spam, whether it is the result of commercial prospecting by companies or of a cyber-criminal nature, creates uncertainty and blurs confidence in electronic communications. This is why it is important to give Internet users the possibility to report anything they consider to be spam, to learn from it, to identify the different natures of spam, and to deploy appropriate countermeasures.

Around the world, laws vary, as do the authorities responsible for enforcing them. A commercial communication that is legal in one country is prohibited in another. What is a matter of personal data protection here is a matter of consumer protection there, or of telecommunications regulation elsewhere. This changing legal framework makes it very difficult to perceive the phenomenon; acting against spam is all the more difficult.

The multiplicity of actors involved in the fight against spam and, more often than not, the lack of dialogue between them (Internet and e-mail service providers, professional e-mail senders, public authorities, advertisers, etc.) accentuate the complexities of the fight against spam.

This is why an organisation such as Signal Spam, able to collect reports, enrich them, qualify them, and share information with duly authorised actors, is necessary.

ORGANISATION

Signal Spam is a non-profit association that develops a network of trust to act against spam by offering Internet users the opportunity to report any message they consider to be spam. The association brings together representatives of all the e-mailing professions and actively participates in working groups and think tanks to fight against abuse of messaging and communication systems around the world.

DEVICE

At the heart of the system is the Internet user and the reporting of anything they consider to be unsolicited and unwanted communication. More commonly known as "spam", these unwanted messages are very diverse: spam can be a simple marketing message that should not have reached you or that you now consider unwelcome, but it can also involve a real threat: an attempt to recover your personal and/or banking data; a scam in which the sender has borrowed the identity of someone you know; corruption of your computer by spyware contained in the spam; and affiliation of your computer to a network of compromised machines controlled by cybercriminals and organised crime (mafia, terrorism, etc.)

SIGNALS

Thanks to your reports and their diversity, Signal Spam can redistribute useful and enriched information that feeds our knowledge of the phenomenon, and allows the best placed actors to act accordingly. Thanks to your reports, public authorities and certain companies can receive alerts, real-time information or draw on the Signal Spam database to gather evidence. Legitimate email senders (routers) and their advertisers have access to user complaints, which allow them to enforce individual opt-out rights and to adopt responsible practices by unsubscribing anyone who has reported a message from their platform. Your reports also help to improve spam detection tools, identify fraudulent advertising campaigns and better distinguish legitimate communications.

Your reports make Signal Spam a real laboratory for spam in France and feed our knowledge of the phenomenon in real time, without which no global, concerted and effective action is possible.

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