India is now #2 in generating spam and accounts for 10% of global SPAM. What is not clear from the report is the target of the spam — it only identifies that the source of the spam was from Indian IP addresses.
This is tell-tale and beckons the growing usage of internet in the urban areas of the country. With an impending boom in e-commerce — the day is not far when there will be online shops peddling ‘Musli power’ (the Indian equivalent of Viagra) through spam messages.
India has an umbrella law called the IT Act which governs data privacy, cyber-terrorism, cyber-security and the likes. However, there are a lot of open areas related to personal privacy, sharing of data, personally identifiable information, sharing with consent, etc. The current law talks about penalties related to hardware damages, “insertion” of virus, peddling of porn, etc. But, nothing around annoying marketing messages.
What we need is an Indian version of CAN-SPAM Act which precisely talks about (a) Content compliance (b) Unsubscribe compliance (c) Penalties for sending unsolicited spam (d) Local abuse.net (e) Civil & Criminal enforcement.
A well crafted anti-spam law/act:
- Allows legitimate businesses to send legitimate messages
- Prevents harassment of businesses from customers, ISPs, law enforcement
- Allows businesses to do generate leads and control electronic communications with their customers
- Creates a compliance guide for businesses for connecting with their customers through e-mail & SMS