The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is looking to strengthen the UK's defences against spammers.
"Spam is not going to be stopped with simple regulation," said Jean-Jacques Sahel, deputy head of international communications policy at the DTI.
"We need to take a more pragmatic approach and seriously enforce the [European] directive [on e-privacy]. Maybe we need to give the Information Commissioner stronger and quicker powers.
"We will be talking to industry in the summer about ways in which the IC can best use procedures."
The recently introduced US and EU anti-spam legislation has had little impact, according to email security firm MessageLabs.
"These laws are probably creating more problems than they are solving," commented Mark Sunner, the company's chief technology officer.
"We can show the legislation is not working because we have collated the data and are seeing the growth rates in spam since it was introduced."
Sunner said the EU's Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications was confused because it was being interpreted in different ways by each member state.
Apart from Italy, which has made the sending of spam a criminal offence, other countries have a far more lenient approach. And with eight countries still to implement the law and 10 new member states joining the EU, the opportunity for spammers to flourish continues.
But Sahel defended the directive. "There are slight differences in national laws [in member states] but overall the directive is quite solid in the way it is implemented across the EU," he told vnunet.com.
"We also hope the new member states will begin implementing anti-spam laws under the directive within a year. The Czechs have already started looking at this."
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