A lot of SPAM marketers claim that they are complying with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and so they are lawfully clogging your email inbox …
Only problem with this is that CAN-SPAM is a USA Act signed into law by President George W. Bush on December 16, 2003.
Australian Anti-Spam laws are a little different.
As defined by the ACMA:
The Spam Act 2003 prohibits the sending of unsolicited commercial electronic messages—known as spam—with an Australian link. A message has an Australian link if it originates or was commissioned in Australia, or originates overseas but was sent to an address accessed in Australia.
The only exemption is a clause known as ‘inferred consent‘
– if your email address is conspicuously published & not accompanied by a statement that commercial messages are not wanted. Which is why I add “Unsolicited Commercial Contact Unwelcome” or words to that effect to the footer of every site I publish.
Does it make a difference?
I take the approach that every little bit helps – and reporting spam can help build a database of serial offenders.
Should I use the ‘Unsubscribe’ link?
There’s usually an ‘unsubscribe’ link of most SPAM … If the message is from a source that you recognize & could have inadvertently subscribed to – then yes BUT Clicking unsubscribe on an unsolicited email can register your email as being an active target … after all, you have opened & read to the footer where the link resides. So I usually ignore any unsubscribe & report instead.
Does SPAM Reporting work?
In many cases – Yes! If the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority ) investigates and finds that a company is in breach of the Act, then very hefty fines may be applied … as much as AU$2.1 Million per day for serial offenders.
Reporting Overseas offenders (via a service such as spamcop.net) can be very effective. From their site:
SpamCop is the premier service for reporting spam. SpamCop determines the origin of unwanted email and reports it to the relevant Internet service providers. By reporting spam, you have a positive impact on the problem. Reporting unsolicited email also helps feed spam filtering systems, including, but not limited to, SpamCop’s own service.
Each time a spamming domain is reported, the technical & abuse contacts listed receive an officially worded warning – the Domain & the Service Provider are added to a database which is then made available to email services as a constantly updated filter of SPAM sources.
If a spammers domain gets blocked then effectively very little of their mail will get through to targeted users … So they have to buy another domain! Also, if they are using any type of bulk-email service, reports are usually acted upon quickly.
Internet Service Providers also have to protect their livelihood & having an IP address (or indeed a block of IP addresses) listed as a UCE source is Bad Business.