Brussels, 09/11/01

Association of European Consumers
socially and environmentally aware
Association Européenne des Consommateurs
socialement et environnementalement responsables







AEC Association of European Consumers again urge the European Parliament
to protect the European consumers against spam


Dear Sir / Madam,

In a letter to you on the 30. August 2001, AEC asked you to support the European Commissions proposal for a general opt-in model for commercial mails covering all of the European Union. (Draft of the Directive COM(2000) 385)

The earlier proposal has now been re-elaborated in the Committee on Citizens' Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs and will be put to the vote in parliament on the 13. November.

Again the AEC urges you to accept the original European Commission proposal and reject any amendments regarding the proposal for a general opt-in model for commercial mails covering all of the European Union. We see no positive effects but too many disadvantages.

Unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam) means a number of problems for the consumers:

·         Spam is almost exclusively used by dubious companies, promoting: sex and porn websites, questionable products like the herbal answer
to Viagra, “authentic” university diplomas, fantastic investments opportunities promising to earn millions in a few days. From a survey we have
made less than 1% of spams came from "serious" senders.

·         Receiving spam mail costs consumers time and money. Consumers generally pays for the time they are logged on to their Internet suppliers server to download their e-mail.

·        Spam is a potential security risk as many spam-mails are carrying computer viruses.

Allowing spam would be a historical mistake. The consumer will be forced to directly pay for the distribution of advertising they have not requested and that a majority of citizens do not want. As a matter of principle it is totally unacceptable to make consumers pay for something they have not asked for. It is not normal in a democracy.

We think that not only a majority of citizens, but also a great majority of serious companies, are against this misuse of new technology and that a
decision for anything but opt-in seriously will hurt business and create a mistrust for all MEPs. We have great difficulty to understand that some MEPs really want to favour dubious companies, like sex and porno distributors and companies selling fake and illegal products not taking care of serious business and citizens.

Please feel responsibility to your voters/supporters, the majority of citizens and do not open for the undemocratic development and misuse of modern technology.

Best regards,

Anna Sellberg

AEC – Association of European Consumers