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Dutch Authorities Issue First Spam Fines

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

31 December 2004


Dutch telecommunications regulator, OPTA announced on Tuesday that it has imposed three fines for the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mails, the first such penalties issued since the government introduced new anti-spam legislation in May.

Speaking to the IDG News Service, an OPTA spokesman explained that:

"We have been collecting complaints about spam on a special spam website since May. Now we're going after major spammers in this country, and these are the first results."

According to the spokesman, the largest fine was imposed on an individual involved in four bulk-mailings of unsolicited e-mails, the second largest was issued against a one-man publishing company soliciting orders for copies of the banned book 'Mein Kampf', and the smallest was imposed on a group which sent SMS spam to mobile telephones.

In addition, the Dutch Economics Ministry reportedly intends to extend the ban on the sending of spam to businesses as well as individuals.

However, the OPTA spokesman acknowledged that unsolicited commercial e-mails orginating from outside of the Netherlands represent "a big problem".

It is widely, but perhaps unfairly, supposed that many of these e-mails originate from lightly regulated 'offshore' jurisdictions.


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