Federal Government reviews Spam Act

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The Federal Government has announcemed a review of the act designed to contain the growing menace of spam.

The Federal Government has announcemed a review of the act designed to contain the growing menace of spam.

Public submissions have been called for by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, senator Helen Coonan, to look into the effectiveness of the Spam Act 2003.

While the act had managed to deter many Australian-based spammers, its ability to deal with spammers based outside of Australia had come into question, Coonan said in a statement.

“A great deal of spam continues to be received from overseas sources,” she said. “It is an international problem requiring an approach that focuses on both domestic and international initiatives.”

At the Act’s inception, email-based spam was seen as the major threat to businesses and the community, but growth in SMS-based spam had also precipitated a rethink, Coonan said.

The review, which will also look at enforcemnt powers and the development of industry codes, is part of a prior commitment on behalf of government to review the effectiveness of the Spam Act within two years of its implementation.

Feedback garnered from public consultation will eventually contribute to a report to be tabled in parliament by April 2006.

In defence of the Government’s record on spam, Coonan also said Australia worked to collaborate at the international level in fora such as the OECD, the International Telecommunications Union and APEC.

“The Government remains committed to a multi-layered strategy against spam that
includes international cooperation, industry codes of practice, education and
awareness activities and the promotion of technical countermeasures,” she said.

Currently the Spam Act applies to commercial electronic messages which include spam sent via email, SMS, instant messaging and multimedia messaging service.

Industry and members of the public are invited to make submissions to the Spam Act 2003 review up to 1 February 2006.


Federal Government reviews Spam Act
 
 
 
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