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The Prime Minister of Australia has been accused of "double standards" after employing his son's company to spam voters in his Sydney constituency of Bennelong.

John Howard has already admitted that he hired his son's firm, Net Harbour, to e-mail voters. However, the electioneering has caused an outcry "down under" with critics claiming that the PM has broken the country's own anti-spam laws.

Earlier this year new legislation made spamming illegal although emails from charities and political groups were exempt. However, opposition spokeswoman, Kate Lundy, said that using a commercial organisation to send the PM's spam was illegal and has called for an immediate investigation.

Said Senator Lundy: "The PM has breached the spirit, if not the letter of anti-spam laws that came into effect just four months ago. John Howard's Government banned commercial spamming this year, but then the Prime Minister goes ahead and spams the public for political benefit. This is a clear case of double standards.

"Mr Howard obviously thinks he is either above the law or is cynically exploiting a loop hole against the spirit and principle of a law his own Government has been touting as evidence of its social responsibility for the past year.

"This is another example of the PM casting ethics aside and arrogantly applying one set of rules to himself and another for other Australians," she said. ®

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