[Politech] Electronic Frontiers Australia on problems with anti-spam laws [sp]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Fri Oct 03 2003 - 06:54:29 PDT

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    From: Irene Graham-EFA <spambills@private>
    To: declan@private
    Subject: Australian Spam Bills - Devil in the Detail
    Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2003 13:34:37 +1000
    Organization: --
    Info below FYI and for politech if you think it likely to be of interest. 
    Proposed laws, claimed to be "anti-spam" laws, were introduced into
    Australian Parliament on 18 September 2003. However, close scrutiny of the
    proposed legislation reveals it is not anti-spam. 
    Electronic Frontiers Australia (EFA) has reviewed the two Spam Bills and
    our analysis of the proposed laws, commentary and recommendations are now
    available at:
    While the proposed legislation does prohibit the sending of some spam, it
    - specifically legitimises and authorises the sending of other spam (i.e.
    unsolicited bulk commercial electronic messages); and 
    - prohibits the sending of some messages that few, if any, people would
    regard as spam; and 
    - establishes special classes of senders who are authorised to send spam
    and who are also exempt from the requirement to provide an opt-out
    EFA is strongly opposed to a number of aspects of the proposed regime
    including, among other things: 
    - the search and seizure provisions that enable some government employees
    and police to search and seize an individual's computer and other
    possessions without a search warrant and without the consent of the
    individual; and 
    - the access order provisions that enable a suspect or other person who has
    forgotten a password or other information to be imprisoned for six months
    (although a person found guilty of breach of the proposed Spam Act is not
    subject to imprisonment). 
    The possible benefit of the currently proposed law in minimising receipt of
    spam is outweighed by its authorisation of "designated" spam and its
    potential to result in unnecessary invasions of the privacy of innocent
    individual's homes and possessions and/or their imprisonment. 
    While EFA supports the general intent of the proposed law insofar as it may
    be intended to reduce the quantity of unsolicited bulk commercial
    electronic email, EFA opposes the enactment of the proposed laws in their
    current form, that is, as set out in the Bills introduced into Parliament.
    Note: The Reply-To field of this message has been set to EFA's feedback
    address (for suggestions or comments) in relation to these bills:
    Irene Graham
    Executive Director - Electronic Frontiers Australia Inc. (EFA)
    EFA: <http://www.efa.org.au>  
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