Members of LINX, the London Internet Exchange, have approved an expansion of their powers to shut down spammers, in a set of best practices published late last week.
The best practices, which revises a five-year-old document, say LINX members must shut down web sites that are promoted by spam, or unsolicted bulk email (UBE) as LINX calls it, if the spam was approved by the site owner.
The rules apply whether or not the UBE originated on the ISP’s network, LINX said, and also apply to web sites that market spam-sending tools and email lists. Customer contracts should be written to give ISPs this power, the document says.
There are real fears that UBE could grow without limit and clog up the Internet, and the mailboxes of every email user on the planet, LINX said in the best practices preamble.
The revised guidelines, which LINX’s 150 members are expected to formally adopt, contain nine provisions, over the earlier version’s seven. The 1999 version said ISPs should shut down access or email accounts, but made no mention of other services.
The new rules state: The ISP MUST treat use of UBE to promote secondary services as an abuse of the provision of that secondary service. Secondary services meaning largely web sites.
Also new in the rules are instructions that ISPs may not allow customers to distribute spamming software or mailing lists, which were not present in the ealier rules.
LINX is one of Europe’s largest internet hubs, where ISPs connect their networks to each other. The ten-year old firm claims it handles over 90% of Europe’s internet traffic.