Fines send spam warning
Australia's anti-spam laws, which were enacted in 2003, have claimed their first victim.
Perth business seminar promoter Wayne Robert Mansfield was fined $A1 million and his company Clarity 1 $A4.5 million for sending spam emails over a two-year period. This involved sending 270 million spam emails to eight million addresses.
The addresses were obtained from lists bought from other organisations and through the use of address-harvesting software.
The fines amounted to about 5% of the maximum possible.
The court indicated it was difficult to assess the likely damage done by the offending but said businesses would have incurred costs through lost time, cleaning up systems and installing new security.
- the breach of the law was deliberate, even if based on a poor understanding of a new law;
- maximum penalties were unrealistic in terms of the ability of the defendant to pay; and
- there was a need to send a deterrent message to the community.<...
» The National Business Review - Patrick Learmonth - 21-11-2006