Politicians form transatlantic spam alliance

Move will also improve communication between the two countries on e-commerce, an official says.

The U.S. Congressional Internet Caucus, the body charged with educating lawmakers about the Internet and fostering its growth, is teaming up with its U.K. counterpart to tackle spam.

The move will improve communication between the two countries on e-commerce, as well as help tighten laws on unsolicited bulk e-mail, said Derek Wyatt, chairman of the U.K. body, the All Party Parliamentary Internet Group.

"We'll share best practices on spam," Wyatt told ZDNet UK. "And we'll be having a joint meeting every year either here or over there. That will really help to beat things like spam and spim (spam over instant messaging)."

Wyatt began his fight against spam two years ago, when he developed a personal dislike for junk e-mail.

On April 5, Wyatt plans to introduce a 10-minute rule bill in Parliament to discuss updating the Computer Misuse Act. The All Party Parliamentary Internet Group is pushing for the criminalization of denial-of-service attacks and to lengthen jail sentences for hacking crimes from one to two years. The group hopes that by increasing penalties, it can make hacking an extraditable offense.

The Congressional Internet Caucus, formed in 1996, focuses on a range of issues, including security, digital rights management and wireless technology. The bipartisan caucus counts 170 senators and congressmen as its members. It also has an extensive advisory board that includes many technology companies.

Dan Ilett of ZDNet UK reported from London.