Australia to Can Spam with New Legislation

19 September 2003

Australia is clamping down on spam emails with new legislation introduced into parliament on Thursday.

The bill will introduce an ‘opt-in’ regime for online marketing, forcing senders of commercial email to gain prior permission from the recipients. It will also outlaw the use of tools to collect addresses.

According to communications minister Richard Alston, Australian spammers will be hit with fines of between A$44,000 ($29,322; €25,958; £18,152) and A$1.1m for every day they send unlawful emails. In addition, courts will be able to strip fraudulent spammers of their unlawful gains and award compensation to their victims.

However, the practical effect of the legislation may be limited, as most spam originates in the US. Nevertheless, Alston insists the clampdown will serve as an example to politicians in other countries.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff