[clug] LONG - Anti Spam Laws (Spam Act 2003) - a simple outline.

Alex Satrapa grail at goldweb.com.au
Sun Jul 4 19:57:06 GMT 2004

Tomasz, if you're going to try to be helpful in the future, please be 
helpful instead of sniping. You obviously decided that there was 
something wrong with a message to this list - there was some criteria 
which the message didn't meet. You never specified what criteria the 
message didn't meet. This makes you no better than SCO, or anyone else 
who has tried to use the law to harm others.

If - in your judgement - someone doesn't meet the criteria for 
compliance with a law that you are employed to police, don't just tell 
them that they are breaking the law, you must tell them why.

On 27 Jun 2004, at 12:32, Tomasz Ciolek wrote:

> 4. Clear identification
> Your name, logo, ABN number or any other way is which you can be
> uniquely identified must be clearly displayed in the body of the
> message.

Is signing a message off "Cheers, Ali G." acceptable, when the email is 
send from "Ali G <alig at example.com>"?

Or does the act require something else? Perhaps people posting [for 
sale] messages should put a complete identification block at the end of 
the message - how much detail does the ACA want?

Since you work for the ACA, it might be nice to get some advice from 
the ACA lawyers as to how one can comply with the law. You may learn 
something, and perhaps the ACA might be made aware of the fact that in 
some environments, a message shouldn't be labelled as spam until other 
measures (ie: mailing list rules and procedures) have been taken into 

> 5. Un-subscribe facility
> It must be clearly marked as such and

The CLUG mailing list itself is either compliant or non-compliant, 
depending on whether you regard these headers as being "clearly 

Headers from any CLUG mailing list message:
> List-Unsubscribe: 	<http://lists.samba.org/mailman/listinfo/linux>, 
> <mailto:linux-request at lists.samba.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> List-Archive: 	<http://lists.samba.org/archive/linux>
> List-Post: 	<mailto:linux at lists.samba.org>
> List-Help: 	<mailto:linux-request at lists.samba.org?subject=help>
> List-Subscribe: 	<http://lists.samba.org/mailman/listinfo/linux>, 
> <mailto:linux-request at lists.samba.org?subject=subscribe>

If these headers are not sufficient, then it could be argued (by the 
letter of the law) that every posting from the CLUG mailing list is in 
itself spam. Perhaps every posting should have a footer attached, 
containing an unsubscribe link. I would hesitate to put a "click here 
to unsubscribe" link, since I already go out of my way to tell people 
to *NOT* click such links. But if this is the way to go, a compliant 
footer would apparently only need to contain the text "To unsubscribe: 
mailto:linux-request at lists.samba.org?subject=unsubscribe"

> 6. Consent
> There must be consent for the message to be sent. Consent can be:
> Expressed. Simple - you gave permission for the message to be sent to
> you. Abuse of pre-ticked boxes in forms is something to watch out for.

By definition, since you double-opt-in, you have given express consent 
to receive messages from the CLUG mailing list.

Perhaps a note from the ACA on what the minimum criteria are for "Clear 
Identification" and a "clearly makrked" unsubscribe facility would 
help? I would have thought that the vendor would be clearly identified 
by their real name. It seems that you (the ACA specialist) disagree.  
This is worries me, since if the agents of the ACA don't interpret the 
law the same way I do, then I'm going to run afoul of the ACA at some 
point, simply because I behave in a way that I believe is compliant to 
the letter and the spirit of the law.

Alex Satrapa

Professionalism: n. The practice of valuing image and marketing above 
competence and reliability.
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