Adult Content industry
This profile considers regulation of spam in Australia,
discussing the 2003 legislation, industry codes, litigation
and the perspective provided by New Zealand.
The profile covers -
page - an introduction to the federal Spam Act 2003
(Cth) and other legislation.
- the regulatory architecture
features of the Australian regime
Zealand - practice across the Tasman
- court action, ACMA penalties and other remedies
codes - industry codes and consumer responses
is a more detailed discussion
of overseas spam regimes elsewhere on this site, along
with information about
spam's definition, impact, statistics and regulatory principles.
the Australian anti-spam regime
The 2003 Spam Act (PDF)
and associated Spam (Consequential Amendments) Act
was passed by Parliament in December 2003. The two Acts
came into effect on 10 April 2004. They are to be reviewed
within two years.
The legislation reflects the national government's telecommunication
powers under the 1901 federal Constitution, discussed
The Spam Act 2003 - formally described here
- prohibits the sending of unsolicited commercial messaging
within Australia or on behalf of Australian entities.
That prohibition reflects the Government's statement that
typically anonymous, indiscriminate and global. With
these characteristics spam has become a popular vehicle
for promotions that can be illegal, unscrupulous or
use tactics that would not be commercially or legally
viable outside the virtual environment. Some of the
key issues raised by spam include privacy, illegal/offensive
content, misleading and deceptive trade practices and
burdensome financial and resource costs.
There are significant privacy issues surrounding the
manner in which e-mail addresses and personal information
are collected and handled. It is not uncommon for address
collectors to covertly harvest e-mail addresses from
the Internet, as users visit certain sites, and buy
and sell them in bulk without the knowledge or consent
of the owner. A report to the US Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) estimates that roughly half of all unsolicited
commercial e-mail contains fraudulent or deceptive content.
There are obvious community and regulatory agency concerns
with the illicit content of a considerable amount of
spam - including those that promote pornography, illegal
online gambling services, pyramid selling, get rich
quick schemes or misleading and deceptive business practices.
The indiscriminate method of distribution is of particular
concern as it is common for minors to receive spam that
is pornographic, illegal or offensive.
The associated Spam (Consequential Amendments) Act
2003 - formally described here
- makes various amendments to the Telecommunications
Act and the ACA Act to enable effective
investigation and enforcement of breaches of the Spam
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