ACA gets $300k to fight spam

The Australian Communications Authority is to receive additional funding totalling $300,000 to enforce new anti-spam legislation that is before parliament.

The ACA will administer the new laws and executive manager of Consumer and Universal Service Obligation John Haydon will lead the crackdown on bulging inboxes.

Under the legislation, software used to harvest addresses and generate address lists for the purposes of sending spam will be banned.

Courts will also be able to award compensation businesses that have suffered from spamming, while also being able to recover profits made by spammers.

Haydon told Computerworld that the $300k spam-funding would supplement current ACA budget for this financial year and stressed that he was expecting larger amounts for consecutive years.

"We have estimated that the first [funding period] will not commence until quite late this financial year. Our indicative planning is that [the legislation will pass] at the end of the year. We have to see what gets through first and if there are any changes. We are certainly anticipating more [funding] in coming years", Haydon said.

In addition to infringement notices for minor transgressions there are substantial penalties - including damages of up to $1.1 million per day - in severe cases.

Haydon said plans for immediate domestic spam-countermeasures are afoot. These will include "targeting weaknesses" including ISPs and telcos which allow open relays. Haydon says he is also prepared to pull the revenue rug out from under service providers who profit from spam traffic:

"You can imagine a range of measures, for example prohibiting the charging for material that is spam that [is] downloaded", Haydon said.

"When we do encounter spammers we will have a full range of powers from [enforceable undertakings] to court action. These people will have to ask themselves if it is worth it, because the court action could prove very expensive."

While many have questioned if legislation can counter a problem originating largely from overseas, Haydon said the ACA is well placed to do the job.

"We already have a lot of experience in dealing with the telecommunications industry, and we will certainly leverage off that. We would expect that we would have a forensics capability to investigate the origins of spam and to address weaknesses on the Internet such as open relays", Haydon said.

Spam busting vendors like Surf Control managing director Charles Heunemann are cautiously applauding from the sidelines and taking a global view of the local problem.

"At least the government are doing something about it. What it will stop is Australia becoming a haven for spam friendly ISPs. If Australian's hire someone to spam for them overseas, they may not be immune from prosecution. Spammers will be driven into the Badlands."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Julian Bajkowski

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?