Countering and combating spam (Resolution 52, Rev. Dubai 2012)

29 Nov 2012

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Work on identifying suitable modalities for combating spam has been carried out within various entities, and the International Telecommunication Union, through its Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), is one example in this regard. Resolution 52 on Countering and combating spam, adopted by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) in 2004, and subsequently amended in 2008 and 2012, establishes the framework of work for ITU-T study groups in the area of spam. While outlining the fact that spam is a global problem that required international cooperation in order to find solutions, the WTSA instructs ITU-T study groups to accelerate their work on spam in order to address existing and future threats, as well as to continue collaboration with organisations in the technical community for the development of technical recommendations on combating spam. In addition, it asks for the initiation of a study on the volume, types and features of spam traffic, in order to assist member states in their anti-spam initiatives. The resolution is also addressed to member states, which are invited to take appropriate and effective measures to combat spam.

Most of the work mandated by the WTSA resolution on spam related issues falls within the scope of ITU-T Study Group 17 – Security, which also deals with a wide range of other cybersecurity-related issues such as identity management, the security of the Internet of Things and cloud computing, and the protection of personally identifiable information. Recommendations elaborated by this group cover specific dimensions of spam, such as: email spam used for botnet propagation, spam transmitted via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, and spam in other IP-based multimedia applications.

As required by the Resolution 52, the group is continuously working on spam related issues, through carrying out studies on potential measures to counter spam, and developing new recommendations covering new  forms on spam. Aspects tackled by the group include: forms on spam in existing and future networks, effects of spam, technologies that empower the creation and spreading of spam, solutions for countering spam, etc.