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Hockey supports junk e-mail.

Hockey Supports Junk E-Mail


Lindsay Tanner - Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs


Media Statement - 29 February 2000


Australia is in danger of accepting international worst practice for the regulation of junk e-mail, or 'spamming', Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Lindsay Tanner, said today.


"Joe Hockey's E-Commerce working group is seriously considering a soft touch self-regulation, whereby consumers can only prevent junk e-mail by telling a business to stop sending them junk e-mail - that is, after the event.


"Spamming is a major consumer problem on the Internet. Australians are receiving huge amounts of unwanted, irrelevant and sometimes highly offensive junk e-mail. This junk e-mail also clogs Internet servers and individual accounts, often resulting in higher costs and slower download times for consumers.


"Mr Hockey simply needs to instruct his E-commerce working group to adopt an 'opt-in' approach, whereby consumers can only receive commercial e-mails when they ask to be on an e-mail list or when they have an existing relationship with a specific business.


"Mr Hockey's wavering on Internet spamming is just another example of the Howard Government's inability to understand the new economy.


"Whether it be in electronic commerce, Internet privacy, ensuring mobile phone number portability, or in ensuring fair and transparent consumer contracts, Australia lacks effective consumer protection measures.


"As the Minister responsible, Joe Hockey is effectively in go-slow mode, further enhancing Australia's new found reputation as the global village idiot," Mr Tanner said.


Authorised by Gary Gray, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.