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Monday, October 30, 2006

More strikes for anti spam laws

Twin successes for anti spam laws in the last couple of days.

In Perth, an Australian company and the man behind it, were fined a collective total of $A5.5 million for 75 million spam emails sent in a two year period.

Microsoft has also won a court case in Germany against a German spammer who was ordered not to distribute forged email using the hotmail brand or face a fine of $A415.000.

This follows an earlier decision in June in Chicago where a student who, with colleagues used spam emails in 250 false names to elicit personal information subsequently sold, was fined $US10 million.

Its an uphill battle but these sort of penalties send a pretty clear message. I imagine the authorities might be whistling in Dixie before they actually extract the money from the offenders.

On another front, Ontario's Privacy Commissioner has given support to a new approach to create a security layer that could kill off the nastiest forms of spam, and has released a white paper supporting the Seven Laws of Identity. The Commissioner says "The internet is not in the hands of the people. It's in the hands of the fraudsters". This paper poses some solutions.

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