Policing spammers key to anti-spam legislation says VP

Working out which government agency will be responsible for enforcing anti-spam legislation will be one of the major questions facing attendees at an anti-spam conference to be held by InternetNZ, probably in June.

Working out which government agency will be responsible for enforcing anti-spam legislation will be one of the major questions facing attendees at an anti-spam conference to be held by InternetNZ, probably in June.

Society vice president David Farrar says an OECD conference he attended recently highlighted the need for international cooperation and enforcement.

"Who in New Zealand would be designated to be the anti-spam agency - the Commerce Commission, Internal Affairs or Privacy Commission or whoever? It's going to be quite an issue."

Farrar says the spam problem is an international one and enforcement of the law can span several jurisdictions.

"The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) told us they have had to execute 15 search warrants in five separate countries in a few days in order to catch a spammer."

Farrar says for New Zealand to be part of that chain we have to be able to act quickly to help other nations hunt down spammers.

He says the conference is second one InternetNZ has helped organise on spam-related issues, although this one will focus almost exclusively on anti-spam legislation. Farrar says the conference is being organised at the moment and he is "99% sure" it will be held in June.

"That way it will tie in with the consultation period set by the Ministry of Economic Development for its discussion document."

Farrar hopes attendees will be able to provide good feedback to government on the issues raised by any anti-spam legislation and so produce a better act.

Associate minister of communications David Cunliffe is leading the anti-spam charge on behalf of government and he hopes to have a discussion paper on the matter out in the next month.

Cunliffe hopes to see anti-spam legislation drafted and before parliament for at least its first reading before the end of the year.

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