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New Zealand Proposes Amendments to its Anti-Spam Bill

The New Zealand Government's anti-spam bill has been called for a major
change by a committee. It recommends allowing sending unsolicited e-mails
that are totally non-commercial in nature and which should not be
prevented even if the recipients ask for the same.

According to the original anti-spam bill organizations that send out
unwanted e-mails to spread their aims or ideals would be considered
offensive. Similarly when organizations send an e-mail that try to sell or
promote a product or service but does not acquire consent of the recipient
would be considered as violating law.

The 'Unsolicited Electronic Message Bill' is strict about commercially
based spam, which puts a fine of up to $500,000 for organizations and
$200,000 for individuals proved guilty of sending out undesirable e-mails
to make money out of them. As per the anti-spam bill, 'Internal Affairs'
will regulate all unsolicited e-mails, which have sexual content and "that
are neither inherently commercial nor objectionable" but would attract
people into accessing adult subjects.

Amendments are being proposed that would not undertake legal actions of
reporting spam to a customer's ISP until Internal Affairs could act on.
Reacting to this President Colin Jackson of a non-profit society,
InternetNZ said that it appeared they got everything they asked for and
was pleased that the Government was providing for them.

Another amendment maintains that unsolicited commercial e-mails that
merely carried website links would be within the limitations of the bill.
It withdraws a ban on surfing software that declares e-mail addresses from
websites, but imposes ban on using such software to send spam.

The Bill differentiates electronic messages that are basically commercial
from those, which are promotional. This distinction has faced criticism on
the ground that it encourages businesses to make believe that their
e-mails are only promoting the organizations as such and not their
products or services. Others criticize the bill as a waste of time, since
in New Zealand only 10 percent of spam comes from Kiwi spammers who are
difficult to identify. Despite all that the Communications Minister
insists on the bill to protect the country from any kind of spam.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

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