Monday, April 27, 2009

"Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! ..... Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! ....."

Monty Python - Spam

Good Day Readers:

It's nice to see the federal government finally doing something to curb spammers. Now if it could only get its damn Anti-Telemarketers, Do Not Call Lists to work.

Clare L. Pieuk
Tories to crack down on Internet spam
Andrew Mayeda, Canwest News Service
Published: Thursday, April 23, 2009

OTTAWA -- The Conservative government will introduce anti-spam legislation on Friday to crack down on the most malicious forms of unsolicited e-mail and cellphone spam, Canwest News Service has learned.

The electronic commerce protection act, a draft of which has been obtained by Canwest News Service, will prohibit the sending of commercial electronic messages without the consent of the recipient.

It will also ban the "unwanted installation of computer programs in the course of commercial activity," as well as false and misleading commercial representations online.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission will be given expanded powers to root out spammers, including the ability to impose fines of $1 million against individuals and $10 million against businesses who spam Canadians.

Conservative sources said the law won't eliminate all unsolicited e-mail that Canadians receive in their inboxes.

But officials hope the legislation will curb the most dangerous and costly forms of spam, such as messages that implant so-called spyware on computers, or contain links to bogus commercial sites, a scam known as "phishing."

Both spyware and phishing can lead to identity theft.

The law will apply not only to e-mails received on people's home computers, but also unsolicited text messages that drive up bills for cellphone users.

Under the legislation, consumers and businesses will also have the right to sue any individual or business who violates the law. Canadian carriers that have their servers hijacked by spammers will be granted a limited waiver of liability so they cannot be countersued.

Officials said the law will bring Canada up to date with other developed countries, most of which already have separate anti-spam legislation. The new bill is closely modelled on an anti-spam law passed in Australia in 2004. The law helped Australia drop out of the world's top 10 spam-originating countries.

In addition to the CRTC, the law will be enforced by the Competition Bureau, which will tackle misleading online representations, as well as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, which will prevent the collection of personal information via computer, as well as the unauthorized compiling of lists of e-mail addresses.

The government will also create a so-called spam reporting centre that would receive reports of spam and related threats, allowing officials to collect evidence and gather intelligence.

Canadian officials will be able to share such evidence with other countries to pursue spammers outside of Canada.

The legislation fulfils a campaign promise made by the Conservatives during last fall's election.

The law incorporates recommendations made in 2005 by a task force of academic experts and industry and consumer representatives.


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