How to Stop the Billions Wasted Annually on Email Spam

Policymakers should take measures to reduce spam and improve cybersecurity on the Internet.

Almost 10 years after the CAN-SPAM Act, email spam is still a worldwide concern, wasting valuable network bandwidth, lowering productivity, and costing businesses and consumers billions of dollars per year. While there have been many attempts at technical and policy solutions to this problem, spam still remains an ever-present problem on the Internet. Moreover, spam is the symptom of a much larger disease—a flourishing underground Internet economy designed to meet the needs of cybercriminals by exploiting computer security vulnerabilities. In this report, ITIF Senior Analyst Daniel Castro outlines the scope of the spam problem today, the challenges of stopping it, and recommendations for additional steps policymakers can take to combat this problem and related cybersecurity challenges.