Alleged spammer faces court over 56 million e-mails

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) is going for its first public collar under the Spam Act putting a Perth man before the Federal Court on July 20 for allegedly distributing 56 million unsolicited e-mails and harvesting people's e-mail addresses.

The ACA is alleging Perth-based company Clarity1 Pty Ltd and its managing director Wayne Mansfield has continued to distribute vast quantities of spam since the Spam Act came into force in April 2004, despite being warned in writing by the authority.

The ACA also wants an interim injunction slapped on the alleged spammers to stop them from continuing their activities, with an ACA spokesman confirming a number of warrants had been executed on the Perth business to secure evidence.

Acting ACA chairman Dr Bob Horton was making no apologies for the tough stand.

"We advised them that they were required to comply with the new Act," he said, adding that UK counter-spam organization Spamhaus "subsequently reported that several major Australian spammers on their list had stopped operating, or left the jurisdiction ... however, this particular operation continues today allegedly in breach of the Act."

Horton added that penalties under the Spam Act extended up to $220,000 a day for first-time corporate offenders and up to $1.1 million a day for repeat offenders, with a provision to seize ill-gotten profits and pay compensation to victims.

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