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Law enforcers from the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia announced today that they will join forces and share resources to fight illegal spam. A Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.K. Office of Fair Trading, the U.K. Information Commissioner, Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in the U.K., the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and the Australian Communications Authority provides for the agencies to share information, cooperate in detecting and investigating spam violations, cooperate in tracking spammers, exchange evidence, facilitate law enforcement against spam violators, and coordinate enforcement against cross-border spam violations.

The MOU also provides for the agencies to promote wide attendance at a meeting in London, planned for October 2004, that will gather spam law enforcement authorities from around the world to discuss spam enforcement issues.

“Illegal spam does not respect national boundaries,” said Timothy J. Muris, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. “This agreement is an important next step to help law enforcers on three continents leverage resources to combat illegal spam.”

“It’s not going to solve spam overnight but it reinforces our determination to tackle it with a combination of industry initiatives, technical solutions and user awareness,” said U.K.’s Communications Minister Stephen Timms.

“This Memorandum of Understanding provides a framework for cooperation in fighting cross-border spam affecting all three countries,” said Dr. Bob Horton, Acting Chairman of the Australian Communications Authority.

This MOU builds on earlier cooperation agreements between the FTC and U.K. and Australian consumer protection agencies.

The Commission vote to approve the Memorandum of Understanding and to publish the accompanying Federal Register Notice was 5-0.

Copies of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Federal Register Notice are available from the FTC’s Web site at and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are available to take complaints), or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

(FTC File No. P03 5303)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Claudia Bourne Farrell
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Yael Weinman
Bureau of Consumer Protection