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Oz nails its first spammer

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Australia has convicted its first spammer under the country's tough anti-spam laws. Wayne Mansfield, and his company Clarity1, from Perth in Western Australia, were held liable for sending more than 56m spam messages in the 12 months following the introduction of Australia's Spam Act laws in April 2004.

Justice Nicholson of the Federal Court in Perth dismissed defence arguments that recipients had consented to receive junk mail messages. He also rejected the line that Clarity1's use of harvested lists acquired before the Spam Act came into force excluded them from prosecution.

"The fact that address-harvesting may have occurred at a time when no such prohibition was in the law, does not prevent the application of the provision in its term from the date it came into force," Justice Nicholson said.

Sentencing will take place at a later as-yet unspecified date. The Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA), the organisation which polices anti-spam laws down under, welcomed the verdict in the case in a statement here. Mansfield's spamming activities have earned him a place in Spamhaus' ROKSO database - a rogues gallery of the world's most prolific spammers - here. ®

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