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InternetNZ Lodges Complaints Against Spammer

For immediate release - 15 August 2003


InternetNZ is lodging complaints against Christchurch spammer Shane Atkinson with three different regulatory bodies.

Atkinson has been identified in the media as being responsible for the sending of up to 100 million spam e-mails a day to promote his penis enlargement pills.

InternetNZ Vice-President, David Farrar, said that complaints are being lodged with: - The Commerce Commission for breach of Section 10 of the Fair Trading Act 1986, relating to misleading conduct in relation to goods. - The Ministry of Health for breach of the Medicines Act 1981 - The Privacy Commissioner for breach of the Privacy Act 1993

"Mr Atkinson is an unrepentant spammer who believes that those who don't want to receive spam should not connect to the Internet. InternetNZ disagrees that connecting to the Internet is a license for Mr Atkinson to promote his penis enlargement pills to every man, woman and child's e-mail address he can find" said Mr Farrar.

InternetNZ has been considering investigating the possibility of advocating for NZ legislation to combat spam.

"If nothing is done to stem the tide of spam, we will start to lose Internet users as they become overloaded with junk mail. It is estimated that just over 50% of all email travelling the Internet is now spam". said Keith Davidson, InternetNZ President

“If spammers believe there is nothing wrong with spamming, then legislation will become a definitive requirement in New Zealand. Many other countries have passed or intend to pass anti-spam legislation. While New Zealand has been able to rely on industry self regulation and a high degree of co-operation between ISP's in the fight against spam, it is becoming apparent that further steps towards legislation may be desirable if attitudes like those of Mr Atkinson exist.” according to Mr Davidson

InternetNZ urges the appropriate regulatory authorities to prosecute Mr Atkinson to the maximum extent permissible under current laws." concluded InternetNZ Vice-President David Farrar


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