Alleged Spammer faces the Slammer

Many people have remarked that the Australian Anti-Spam Act in 2003 hasn't stopped the flood of spam making its way into our inboxes. In a sign that the honeymoon and consultative period is over, the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) last week announced it was taking an alleged global spammer to the Federal court.

The ACA alleges that Clarity1 Pty Ltd of East Perth and its managing director, Mr Wayne Mansfield, sent out at least 56 million commercial emails in twelve months after the Spam Act 2003 commenced in April 2004. Most of the messages are believed to have been unsolicited and in breach of the Act.

Internetrix has had personal experience with this organisation, which also trades as Business Seminars Australia, having received dozens of unsolicited messages both before and after the Act came into force. Considering the expense that spam places on our business, and the annoyance it causes our clients and the wider internet community, we're pretty happy to see the ACA taking this sort of action.

Mr Mansfield and Business Seminars Australia are listed by UK-based international anti-spam watchdog, Spamhaus, as allegedly one of the world's top 200 spammers. The top 200 produce 80 per cent of the world's email spam.

Penalties for contravention of the Spam Act can be up to $220,000 per day for first-time corporate offenders and up to $1.1 million per day for repeat offenders. Profits can also be forfeited and compensation paid to victims.

The ACA Acting Chairman, Dr Bob Horton, said the reporting of spam emails by the public both in Australia and overseas had made a significant contribution to the investigation. The ACA had received complaints from as far away as the United Kingdom.

"I would like to thank those people who took the trouble to report spam emails to the ACA. They have made a difference," he said.

If you've received spam that you believe has come from an Australian individual, you can report it to the ACA and help them build cases against spammers. For more information, check out the Press Release on the ACA website.

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