Australian Gov't Officials Accuse Lobbyists Of Spam; Block Emails

from the who's-right? dept

Down in Australia, the New South Wales Premier (or, at least, people working in his office) are apparently so annoyed at an environmental lobbying group who sent them 1700 emails via government webform that officials have accused the lobbyists of breaking anti-spam laws and have blocked emails sent from the organization while also threatening to report the spamming to law enforcement. Of course, there are a few problems, such as the fact that the local anti-spam law only covers commercial emails and also says the law cannot be used to infringe on the right to political communication. Still, even if it's not breaking the law specifically, it's hard to feel much sympathy for a lobbying group that thinks the most effective way to get its message across is to send 1700 emails to politicians -- all from the same IP address. The lobbyist is complaining to the government that "an email is a legitimate form of communication with the Government as much as a printed letter is." That's certainly true, but the lobbyist should at least be willing to admit he may have gone a bit overboard in overloading the system with so many messages.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2007 @ 1:27pm

    Overboard

    The lobbyist is complaining to the government that "an email is a legitimate form of communication with the Government as much as a printed letter is." That's certainly true, but the lobbyist should at least be willing to admit he may have gone a bit overboard in overloading the system with so many messages.
    If the lobbyist had forwarded 1700 printed letters would that have been "a bit overboard"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Joel Coehoorn, Apr 27th, 2007 @ 1:41pm

    We have this in the US, where groups will run an ad urging individuals to 'contact your representative' about an issue, and conveniently provide a form on the web you can fill out that will send the e-mail on your behalf. It's one reason the FCC gets so many complaints any time anything even close to 'indecent' is shown on tv.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    skh, Apr 27th, 2007 @ 1:47pm

    Wouldn't any email that is initiated by an individual NOT be considered spam, even if the person is using a form, as Joel stated above? I'd certainly think so.

    OTOH, using a database of names, addresses, etc. to automate a mass emailing would pass the "spam, for sure" common-sense smell test, for me at least.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Paul`, Apr 27th, 2007 @ 7:28pm

    Re: Overboard

    An individual letter is different. You cant automaticly send letters, plus they cost you money to send. I would like to se them send 1700 letters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Sanguine Dream, Apr 27th, 2007 @ 8:20pm

    So...


    The lobbyist is complaining to the government that "an email is a legitimate form of communication with the Government as much as a printed letter is."


    Perhaps they don't have the option of pursuing legal action but sure as hell can block that IP address.

    Block IP address, throw away 1700 junk mail letters, it all the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Raymond, Apr 28th, 2007 @ 12:25am

    Cost of postage

    Just in case your wondering, 1700 letters would have cost about $850 (AUD) to post. I suspect they wouldn't have minded so much with real mail. If he sent that much then he paid a fair amount for it. Junk email costs essentially nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Fred Flint, Apr 28th, 2007 @ 6:02am

    More spam, more spam!

    This is hilarious.

    I think all lobbyists should spam all politicians all the time. I can't wait until they get serious about this in the States. Then it will be millions of spams, neverending.

    Perhaps emptying their mailboxes all day will keep the dickheads out of our business.

    Sorry! I just keep laughing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 30th, 2007 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re: Overboard

    An individual letter is different.
    You say that but you don't explain how it's different.

    You cant automaticly send letters,...
    What? You surely can't be serious. You've obviously never heard of "bulk mailings".

    plus they cost you money to send.
    Yes, but the post office gives a huge subsidy/discount to bulk mailers.

    I would like to se them send 1700 letters.
    Bulk mailers can do millions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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