Germany proposes jail sentences for spammers

April 13, 2004 Sophos Press Release

Germany's ruling Social Democratic Party is proposing tough new sentences for those who send bulk unsolicited commercial email. Under the proposed sanctions spammers, and companies who use their services, could be given large fines and even prison sentences for the worst offenders.

"In the event of repeated violation we need really hard sanctions," said Ulrich Kelber, the MP promoting the draft law. "Perhaps even spammers outside of Germany would think twice if they know that they had to face these sentences when they cross German borders."

"Tough sentences won't kill off the spam problem but they can help discourage some repeat offenders," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It is hoped that Germany will adopt these and other strong measures against spammers - but with over 50% of all spam coming out of the United States, German computer users should not fool themselves into thinking this marks anything like the end of the problem."

A recent study by Sophos revealed that Germany is the seventh biggest producer of spam in the world. Sophos recommends companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend businesses from the threats of both spam and viruses.