DIA files legal action against alleged spammer

Claim filed in Auckland High Court cites alleged breaches of Unsolicited Electronic Message Act

The Department of Internal Affairs’ Anti-Spam Compliance Unit is taking legal action against an alleged spammer based in Western Australia but using a .co.nz suffix.

It has lodged a statement of claim in the High Court in Auckland alleging breaches under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 by Wayne Robert Mansfield of Perth.

The court application alleges that, after the enactment of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act in September 2007, until at least September 2010, Mansfield used a number of lists of email addresses to promote business and marketing seminars he was holding in New Zealand.

It is alleged that the emails were unsolicited commercial electronic messages sent for the purpose of advertising certain business and marketing seminars. They were also aimed at inviting the recipients to buy tickets to Mansfield’s business and marketing seminars.

The DIA alleges the emails were sent to email addresses that ended in .nz, and were sent from an email address with the .co.nz suffix, which was registered to Mansfield or his agent. It further alleges the computers, servers or devices used to access the emails were located in New Zealand as were the people who received the emails.

The recipients had not consented to receiving the emails from the lists used Mansfield.

Under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 it is illegal to send unsolicited, commercial emails. The maximum fine for an individual for breaches of the Act is $200,000.

In 2008, a Queensland man was fined $100,000 under the Act as a penalty for his partial role in an international spamming venture. A more current case, against Brendon Battles and Image Marketing Group, is awaiting a decision.

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