Australia introduces first anti-spam code

Australia has become the first country to lay down a code of practice to deal with spam. ISPs and other email service providers are now required to give adequate spam filters to their customers or face fines of up to A$10 million.

The new Australian code, the ‘Internet Industry Spam Code Of Practice – A Code For Internet And Email Service Providers’ has been introduced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). It also expects Internet service providers and email service providers to give end-users information about how to deal with spam and to have in place a process for handling complaints from subscribers.

The ISPs will also have to set limits on the amount of email that their own customers can send, including actual spammers, misconfigured customer email servers and crackdown on any machines which have been included in a bot network to deliver spam. Any company who fails to comply with the code could be taken to court by the ACMA and face a fine of A$10 million.

Three-quarters of all Internet service providers in Australia already offer a spam filtering service to their customers either for free or as a premium service.

Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman said ‘This is the first legislative code of practice for i

Internet and email service providers in the world, and I highly commend the Australian Internet industry on its work against the problem of spam.’

The code applies to all of the 689 ISPS currently operating in Australia, as well as those global email service providers such as Hotmail and Yahoo!. The code will come into effect on 16 July 2006.

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