Aust govt attempts to ban spam

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The federal government has stepped up its attempts to rid consumers of spam, with legislation scheduled to be introduced to Parliament later this year.

The legislation is intended to discourage spam by imposing penalties on offenders, such as fines, according to communications and IT minister Senator Richard Alston.

'Spam emails are the mosquitoes of the Internet--numerous, annoying and often carrying nasty viruses,' Alston said in a statement. 'Spam is a menace to home and business email users and is a major scourge of productivity.'

According to Alston, the Australian Government was taking a strong stand against spam and was moving quickly to respond to the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) report on spam.

One of the recommendations of the report was that the anti-spam legislation should be enforced by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).

The report also suggested an opt-in regime be established. The opt-in regime would ban commercial electronic messages sent without the prior consent of end users, unless there was an existing customer-business relationship.

Emails would also have to contain accurate details of the sender's name, physical address and a feature allowing users to opt-out, according to Alston's statement.

'Legislation will provide for an effective enforcement regime in Australia and is an important step in the longer-term strategy of developing anti-spamming enforcement networks internationally,' Alston said.

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