Anti-spam legislation before year's end

AUCKLAND (03/24/2004) - New Zealand's associate minister of IT David Cunliffe hopes to introduce anti-spam legislation to parliament by the end of the year.

While no formal announcement has been made, Cunliffe advisor Julian Kersey says the minister hopes to release a discussion paper on the issue in April or May.

"It's got to go to cabinet first so I can't even say what's in the paper at this stage".

InternetNZ is welcoming the move, saying it will work with government on the details of the proposed legislation.

Kersey says the minister would like to see a stand-alone bill and that public submissions will very likely be called.

"It will go through the select committee stage as well and there are usually public submissions then".

InternetNZ councillor, and writer of the Pegasus e-mail application, David Harris says legislation alone won't be enough to stop spam in its tracks.

"Legislation by itself will not solve the spam problem, but it is an essential component along with education, self-regulation and technical initiatives." Kersey agrees, but says having legislation means New Zealand will be able to enter into bilateral and multilateral anti-spam agreements once it's in place.

Legislation should be introduced to parliament before the end of the year.

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