Know the new law which came into effect in September 2007.
Spam laws take force today (September 5 2007)
The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act comes into force today, making it illegal for New Zealand companies to send out promotional emails or texts unless they have prior consent.
Companies caught sending unsolicited electronic messages could face fines of up to $500,000. The penalty for individuals is $200,000.
The Minister of Communications, David Cunliffe, says there are no guarantees marketers are ready, but he believes the six month lead-in time has been reasonable.
Marketing Association executive director Keith Norris says the law is a good idea, but it will not stop spam because more than 97 per cent comes from overseas.
Sending even a single unsolicited commercial e-mail will become an offence under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007, which came into effect on September 5 2007.
But the law change on its own is not expected to have significant effect on the overall volume of spam given that most unsolicited e-mails are sent from overseas and spammers are hard to track down.
InternetNZ's Code of Practice is designed to work in tandem with the legislation by increasing the responsibilities on ISPs to take "best practice" steps to combat spam, if they haven't already done so.
As well as advising customers whose computers had been hacked or misconfigured as "open relays" for channelling spam, all ISPs would have to offer spam filters or information on how to get them.
They would also have to provide a means of reporting spam and instances when spam filters had wrongly blocked genuine e-mails.
InternetNZ is inviting public submissions on the code of practice, which has been vetted by the Economic Development Ministry, the Commerce Commission and the Consumers Institute.
InternetNZ executive director Keith Davidson says that spam is "clogging up inboxes, soaking up our bandwidth and providing vectors for scams and malware".
The Code recognises the role ISPs can play through their "technical approach, being a first port of call for information and complaints and by working with law enforcement agencies", he says. The first part of this topic has been displayed free of charge. Join up for $45 to have access to this and all other topics!