Australia in three way anti-spam alliance

Australia in three way anti-spam alliance

Australia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United States and United Kingdom in a move that is hoped will ease international cooperation in the fight against spam.

Spam is an international problem and often crosses national borders into jurisdictions with different laws. The MoU provides a partnership arrangement for Australian spam enforcers to share information and work together with their counterparts in the US and the UK in investigating cross-border spamming activities.

Participating agencies include the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the US Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Trade and Industry, the Information Commissioner and the Office of Fair Trading in the UK.

The majority of Australia's spam comes from abroad and there is no single, simple solution to the problem.

Spam needs to be tackled through a global, multi-pronged approach that blends regulation, self-regulation and industry initiatives, technical solutions and user awareness.

Techniques such as filtering have been introduced to help reduce the payload of spam we receive each day, and a number of the world's major ISPs (Internet service providers) have been working on a number of other methods of tackling the issue.

In Australia, the Government has introduced domestic legislation in the form of the Spam Act 2003, which imposes penalties of up to $1.1 million per day for those who persist in sending spam.

Despite the introduction of the legislation, spam still remains a major problem in Australia, with many of those responsible for the sending of spam either deliberately flouting the law, or inadvertently doing so by not following the correct procedures for sending mailouts legally.

The Government, through the ACA, is continuing to work with online marketing companies and ISPs to develop industry codes to help combat the rising tide of spam and bring more clarity to the legislation so marketers can be left in no doubt as to what is legal and what isn't.

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