ACMA to force anti-spam on ISPs

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ACMA to force anti-spam on ISPs

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is forcing ISPs and email service providers to provide spam filtering options to their subscribers.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is forcing ISPs and email service providers to provide spam filtering options to their subscribers.

Its Internet Industry Spam Code Of Practice also requires ISPs and ESPs to inform end-users on ways to combat spam and to have a process for handling complaints from subscribers.

The industry body’s chairman, Chris Chapman, claimed in a statement that the standards - which would require joint action by industry, regulators and end-users - were a world first in the global fight against spam.

"This is the first legislative code of practice for internet and email service providers in the world, and I highly commend the Australian internet industry on its work against the problem of spam," he said.

The new standard comes despite some three quarters of all ISPs already voluntarily offer a spam filtering product to their customers as either a free or charged service, the ACMA said.

The code, which comes into effect on July 16, will apply to all of the 689 active internet service providers in Australia, as well as those global email service providers such as Hotmail and Yahoo providing services in Australia.

An Optus spokesperson said the ISP was involved in the development of the new code. It also employed its own anti-spam measures - OptusNet Spam Filtering –free to its customers and already provided tips for protecting email from unwanted messages via its website.

Dennis Muscat, Pacific Internet’s managing director said the standard – which the ISP had also been involved in creating - was likely to see smaller players get up to speed in facililitating the protection of users.

“It’s positive to see that Australia is leading the way in best practices to fight spam,” he said. “We view initiatives that improve the experiences customers have on the internet as a good thing and it’s important to help customers with information so they’re better equipped to tackle spam, viruses and filter access for children if they want to.”

A copy of the code is available at www.spam.acma.gov.au.

In related news, the ACMA launched a new scheme aimed at reimbursing consumer code development costs to industry bodies and associations.

Under the scheme, telecommunications industry bodies and associations can now apply to the ACMA for reimbursement of the refundable costs they incur in developing consumer-related telecommunications industry codes.

The scheme provides for industry self-regulatory bodies and associations to recover the costs of consumer code development from industry through carrier licence charges collected annually by ACMA.

For more information see:
http://www.acma.gov.au/ACMAINTER.65654:STANDARD:368981711:pc=PC_100428
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