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Australian Anti-Spam Law Passed In Original Form

by Mary Swire, for LawAndTax-News.com, Hong Kong

04 December 2003


Opposition members in the Australian Senate who proposed amendments to the Commonwealth's anti-spam law which effectively rendered it toothless have suggested that their actions were symbolic, and intended to draw the government's attention to the issues raised.

According to a report from technology news service, The Inquirer, when Parliament resumed on Monday, the lower house removed the controversial amendments put in place by the Senate, and the upper house approved the restored bill without hesitation.

A spokesperson reportedly announced that the Opposition was "disappointed that the Government chose to reject our amendments, and therefore the concerns which they addressed".

Under the terms of the new legislation, set to come into force in Spring 2004, internet users will be required to 'opt in' in order to receive commercial e-mails, with the existence of a prior business relationship taken as an opt-in unless otherwise stated.

The Senate last week amended the bill to allow firms to send unsolicited e-mails to anyone that they thought might be interested in their product, a move which prompted Communications Minister, Daryl Williams to observe at the time that it was a "giant loophole that unscrupulous spammers could not have designed better themselves".


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