DIA antispam unit takes Battles, New Image to court over mobile spam

Well-known spammer in Department's sights

The Department of Internal Affairs has launched court action alleging breaches under the Unsolicited Electronice Messages Act by Brendan Battles and Image Marketing Group Limited. Two statements of claim have been filed in the Auckland High Court. A statement from the Department's antispam unit reads: "The court application alleges that in February and March 2009 Image Marketing Group Limited and Battles sent, or caused to be sent, 44,824 SMS messages to mobile phones connected to networks in New Zealand operated by Vodafone and Telecom. "It is alleged that the SMS messages were unsolicited commercial electronic messages with the primary purpose of inviting the recipient to purchase over the internet a mobile phone antenna booster. In its statement of claim the Department alleges the SMS messages contravened section 9 of the Act in that they were unsolicited, section 10 as they did not include accurate sender information and section 11 as they did not contain an unsubscribe facility that could be used by the recipient at no cost. "The second statement of claim alleges that in December 2009 the defendants, Image Marketing Group Limited and Brendan Battles, sent at least 43 emails to computers connected to the internet and located in New Zealand. These represent a sample of 519,545 substantially similar emails sent or caused to be sent by the defendants between 14 and 15 December 2009. "The Image Marketing Group emails were commercial electronic messages with common features, marketing and promoting New Zealand and Australian marketing data. The Department alleges that the emails were unsolicited and contrary to section 9 of the Act. Under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 penalties carry a maximum of $500,000 for organisations and $200,000 for individuals. Brendan Battles has a record of run-ins with authorites over spamming: Embattled spam king faces arrest Spam king resurfaces, linked with SMS campaign Web developers association hires spammer

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