The Spam Act

Please note: At TECH 2U we take Spam and the act of Spamming very seriously. Please do not apply for a list server without first reading the following information.

What is spam?
Spam is the common term for electronic 'junk mail' - unwanted messages sent to a person's email account or mobile phone.

The content of spam messages varies. Some messages promote products or services, while others attempt to trick users into providing bank account or credit card details. Many spam messages contain offensive or fraudulent material, and some spread computer viruses.

Spam now makes up the majority of email traffic. Billions of unwanted spam messages clog up the internet, disrupt email delivery, reduce productivity and irritate users.

How do I know it's spam?
Any message that doesn't meet the following three conditions is defined as spam:

Consent - the message must be sent with your consent

Identify - the message must contain accurate information about the person or organisation that authorised the sending of the message

Unsubscribe - the message must contain a functional 'unsubscribe' facility to allow you to opt out of receiving messages from that source.

Messages do not have to be sent out in bulk to be considered spam. Under Australian law, a single electronic message can also be considered spam.

Australia's anti-spam legislation - The Spam Act 2003 - covers email, instant messaging, SMS (text messages) and MMS (image-based mobile phone messaging) messages of a commercial nature. It does not cover faxes, internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing. Telemarketing calls are covered by the Do Not Call Register.

A fact sheet about understanding spam is available from the Australian Media and Communications Authority for download.

Visit The Spam Act and codes of practice section for more information about identifying spam. Their “Frequently Asked Questions” pages also provide detailed answers to:

- General spam FAQs
- Spam Act FAQs
- FAQs about government and industry anti-spam activities

ACMA has also developed free software for you to download if you wish to report spam directly from your Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express email programs. Once installed you can delete and report spam you receive in your email directly to ACMA - with just one click of the mouse. Frequently Asked Questions are also available on the SpamMATTERS program.

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