Anti-spam bill passes first reading

I’m delighted that Parliament has voted 119-2 (or close to that) in favour of the anti-spam legislation. It will now be referred to a select committee where InternetNZ will be making detailed submissions on it.

INZ (and me) strongly supported it at first reading. We do have one area we want changed – that of enforcement, to reduce compliance costs on ISPs. We are investing considerable resource so we can propose an alternate enforcement model to the select committee and the Government.

ACT voted against, as expected. I understand their reasons for doing so, even if disagreeing with them. Overseas experience has shown us that good legislation allowing major spammers to be tracked down and prosecuted does help reduce the levels of spam. It won’t make it go away, but it will help.

For those interested, the InternetNZ press release is over the break.

PR: InternetNZ welcomes anti-spam bill first reading

InternetNZ, the Society of New Zealand, is delighted that Parliament has voted almost unanimously in favour of the Government’s anti-spam legislation at its first reading.

“We are pretty much the last country in the OECD to progress anti-spam legislation, so we are very pleased that it has passed its first reading and been referred to a select committee for detailed consideration” said InternetNZ Vice-President David Farrar.

“InternetNZ strongly supports the legislation being referred to select committee, and we thank IT Minister David Cunliffe for his work in advancing the legislation”

“The legislation generally adopts the best of overseas laws on this issue, especially the successful Australian legislation. However in one key aspect, the enforcement model, we believe the current bill can be improved upon so that compliance costs for ISPs are reduced. We are looking forward to proposing these improvements to the select committee”

InternetNZ wants to reiterate that it in no way believes the proposed legislation is a magic cure for spam. But it can and will form part of more wide-spread efforts to reduce or eliminate the level of spam people receive. It will allow the Department of Internal Affairs to work with overseas enforcement agencies in tracking down and prosecuting the worst spammers. Already prosecutions in the US especially seem to be contributing to a reduction in overall spam levels.

“Once again we welcome the passage of the anti-spam bill through its first reading and thank the seven parties who voted in favour of it.” concluded David Farrar

ENDS

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