ACCC Joins Global Fight Against Spam

ACCC Joins Global Fight Against Spam - 30th January 2004
Credit: Sydney Morning Herald

Australia is joining a major fight against junk email to help slash the amount of unsolicited messages clogging up computer systems around the world.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said today it had joined a campaign led by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help prevent organisations from unwittingly sending junk emails, or spam.

Twenty-six countries are taking part in the campaign, called Operation Secure Your Server, and have already found tens of thousands of computer operators which could be sources of spam.

"International cooperation is going to play an important role in combating spam, as this project clearly demonstrates," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said.

"Moreover, government cannot solve the spam problem on its own; everyone with an internet connection must do their part to make sure that they are part of the solution and not part of the problem."

As part of the campaign to cut junk mail, computer owners are being urged to close their open mail relays.

Those types of servers allow any computer in the world to "bounce" or route email through servers of other organisations, resulting in the real origin of the email being disguised.

The ACCC said people sending spam emails use those servers to flood the internet with unwanted email messages, causing some computer systems to overload.

The Australian Communications Authority, which was behind Australia's new anti-spam laws which come into force on April 11, is also taking part in the campaign.

The Spam Act 2003 prohibits sending, or causing to be sent, unsolicited commercial emails which have an Australian link.

Companies caught sending spam face fines of up to $1.1 million a day.

Businesses can find out how to protect their computers from sending spam at a new web site set up by America's Federal Trade Commission.


Sydney Morning Herald Online

Federal Trade Commission

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission


When Will Spam Be Banned


Mediaman: Technology News