Law and order

Spamming set to become illegal in the Netherlands and other legislative news…

Spamming is about to become illegal in The Netherlands, after the upper house of the Dutch parliament approved changes to telecoms legislation late last month. However, the legislation – which is likely to become law in May or June – only covers spam sent to individual users; spam sent to businesses is unaffected.

Under the new law unsolicited commercial email may not lawfully be sent to consumers unless they have opted in to receive messages. The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, has answered critics concerned about the lack of protection afforded to businesses, by promising to undertake ‘initiatives’ to ensure that anti-spam protection is extended to the business community.

In other legislative news, the Federal Spam Act 2003 took effect in Australia on 11 April. Companies found to be in breach of the legislation will be fined up to AU$220,000 per day or AU$1.1 million for repeat offences. The Australian Computer Society has released a five-step guide for businesses to make sure they are compliant with the new legislation.

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