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Australia gets set to outlaw spam

Eliminating weapons of mass distribution
Fri Jun 27 2003, 09:56
AUSTRALIAN LAWMAKERS could make spam illegal by the end of the year, reports state. The move could make Australia the first country in the world to outlaw what Bill Gates calls this "pollution of the email ecosystem".

A government investigation in to spam, the results of which were published in April, found that around a fifth of all email landing in Aussie in-boxes was some sort of spam, prompting Minister for Communications, Richard Alston, to promise to curb the phenomenon through tough legislation.

The minister met yesterday with service providers and spam-blocking software vendors in Canberra to discuss possible anti-spam measures. Any legislation faces the problem that most spam in arriving in Australia - like the UK - comes from abroad, mainly from the US. Legislators will also have to agree on a definition of what actually constitutes spam.

At the forum, hosted by the Internet Industry Association, local ISP BigPond launched its own anti-spam initiative, promising to "crack down on people who abuse email services." Managing director Justin Milne, said some customers using BigPond to send spam and been denied access to the service.

Both the US and the EU are also mulling over ways of outlawing spam. All, however, may be scuppered by the the supra-national nature of the Internet. µ

* THE INQUIRER has its own tool to nail the spammers, and we can now announce the program has been recently updated. Version 1.1 will help you discover the source of emails and gather information to send complaints. You can find the program and instructions here.

 

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