ACA signs London Action Plan on spam

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) has joined government agencies and private sector organizations in 21 countries to fight spam by endorsing the London Action Plan.

The plan was developed by the US Trade Commission and the UK Office of Fair Trading and aims to curb the activities of international spammers through global cooperation.

It has opened dialogue between governments and the private sector allowing both parties to develop specific projects to attack spam including regular conference calls to discuss cases, legislative developments and education initiatives.

ACA acting chairman Bob Horton said Australia has been successful in stemming the spread of spam, especially if it originated here.

He said several of the world's top 200 global spammers that were formerly based here had stopped their activities after warnings from the ACA. Australia has since been removed from the top 10 list of spamming nations, which is issued by Sophos.

However, less than two percent of spam received in Australia originates here which is why, Horton said, global cooperation is so critical.

Horton said one former global spammer interviewed by ACA investigators confided that global spam operations are simply avoiding Australia to set up in less hostile jurisdictions.

The London Action Plan is supported by government agencies from the UK, the US, 11 European nations, Korea, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Chile.

"This reflects a strong antispam focus by nations of the developed world and represents more than half of the OECD. The plan also has nine signatories from the private sector," he said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) also supports the plan.

The ACA is responsible for enforcing Australia's antispam law, while the ACCC has a particular interest in the scams that are promoted by spam.

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