New Zealand spammer fined $210,000

Federal Court gives penalty for over 100,000 spam messages advertising herbal products, watches and other items

Lance Thomas Atkinson was fined $210,000 by the Federal Court of Brisbane

Lance Thomas Atkinson was fined $210,000 by the Federal Court of Brisbane

A New-Zealand man has been fined $210,000 for breaching the Spam Act 2003 in a case brought by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in the Federal Court of Brisbane.

Lance Thomas Atkinson was found by the court to have sent more than 100,000 unsolicited spam emails to Australians advertising “herbal products, watches and other items”.

“There is simply no doubt that Australian citizens find large-scale distribution of unsolicited commercial electronic messages promoting the sale of products, in the circumstances of this case, very irritating and annoying,” Justice Greenwood was quoted by the ACMA as saying in his judgment. “It causes all users of computers to constantly update spam filters and other protective devices to try to deflect the unwanted rain of electrons and digits disseminated by those who wish to do what Mr Atkinson has done. The Parliament has made its intention plain that unsolicited distribution of electronic emails (spam) is to be discouraged.”

Atkinson has been ordered not to send or be involved in the sending of unsolicited emails for seven years.

The case was also brought about with the cooperation of the United States Federal Trade Commission and New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs.

Just over a week ago, SMS spammers were also fined $6.5 million in the Federal Court in Brisbane following proceedings brought by the ACMA.

The fines, $4 million to Jobspy Pty Ltd and $2.5 million to Scott Mark Moles, were imposed following allegations by ACMA that Jobspy and Moles established fake dating website profiles to obtain mobile telephone numbers of genuine dating website users.

And in early December, the ACMA issued a formal warning to online retailer Topbuy, following an investigation that found the company had breached the Spam Act 2003.

In November, Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) was to make a 'voluntary payment' of $110,00 to ACMA for breaches of the Spam Act 2003.

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Tags spamFederal Court of AustraliaAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

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