Spammer Fined $210,000

Man spamming herbal remedies gets fine and hauled over coals by judge

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has been granted declarations and injunctions at the Federal Court in Brisbane under the Spam Act 2003 against Lance Thomas Atkinson. A penalty of $210,000 was also imposed.

‘There is simply no doubt that Australian citizens find large-scale distribution of unsolicited commercial electronic messages promoting the sale of products, in the circumstances of this case, very irritating and annoying,’ said Justice Greenwood in his judgment. ‘It causes all users of computers to constantly update spam filters and other protective devices to try to deflect the unwanted rain of electrons and digits disseminated by those who wish to do what Mr Atkinson has done. The Parliament has made its intention plain that unsolicited distribution of electronic emails (spam) is to be discouraged.’

The court found that Atkinson sent unsolicited spam emails advertising herbal products, watches and other items to be sent to Australians. The ACMA tendered evidence to the court that it has received more than 100,000 reports from Australians about email messages which Atkinson caused to be sent.

Atkinson has been restrained from sending or being involved in sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages to or from Australia for a period of seven years.

The ACMA’s investigation has been conducted with the assistance of the United States Federal Trade Commission and the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs, both of whom have also taken action against Atkinson.