The EU's certain to have spammers and email scammers shaking in their boots with the news that consumer-protection bodies across the continent are now working together to stop international email scams. "Joined-up enforcement across the EU will help to stamp out scams and leave the sharks with nowhere to hide," says one politician. Nowhere to hide, indeed... except outside of the EU, maybe. See, the thing about the internet is that it's a global network, and you don't have to be anywhere near a particular place to target people there with scams and attacks, regardless of what the politicians think. Spam, phishing and other email-based problems aren't going to be solved by legislation or government intervention. In the first place, it's ineffective, and even if it weren't, the scammers would simply pick up their digital sticks and operate from somewhere else with a less aggressive regulatory environment. Dealing with spam and email scams demands technical solutions -- blocking and stopping the messages, or other approaches -- and social ones -- getting people to quit buying from spam and to stop falling for phishing and other scams. Legislative and regulatory solutions that help solve the problem, rather than make it worse, are hard to come by. But again, that's not important when there's a chance for politicians to make themselves look helpful.
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