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2004-04-12 The Spam Bill - What it means to you Print

Late in 2003, the Australian Parliament passed the "Spam Bill 2003".  The "sunrise" period of that bill expires today, and I would like to take a few moments to draw your attention to it's provisions.  Particularly, you should be aware of this legislation if you use email as a business promotional tool.


The Bill has effect on most electronic communications (email, SMS/MMS, instant messaging, etc) of a commercial nature.  It serves to provide enforceable guidelines under which messages may be sent.  Without trying to describe the whole bill, briefly the requirements are:


  1. Electronic messages of a commercial nature with an Australian connection can only be sent with the consent of the recipient.  This consent can be expressly provided, or inferred under certain conditions.
  2. Messages can only be sent if they clearly identify the sender, and provide a "functional unsubscribe mechanism".


If you are in business, and use email in your promotional or day-to-day business activity, you should assess the impact of the legislation on your activities.  We recommend you start by reviewing the information online at http://www2.dcita.gov.au/ie/publications/2004/02/spambusiness and seek specific legal advice if you need to.


The messages sent to you by Virtual Access are a mix of factual information (such as this message), service notifications (upgrades, changes, disruptions, etc) and promotional information about new products and special deals.  Only the last of these three categories is subject to the provisions of the act in our case.


After review of the legislation and its provisions, we believe that it is reasonable for us to infer your consent to receive such promotional messages from us, as customers of our services.  Accordingly, we will continue to send you such information.  Should you wish to withdraw your consent regarding promotional information, please see the instructions below.  Note however that we will continue to send you email in the first two categories outlined above, as well as information specific to any service you receive from us, even if consent for promotional information is withdrawn.  We believe that it is incumbent upon us to advise you of changes and disruptions to services, and prudent of us to advise you of some security threats, viruses and the like.  We trust that you appreciate receiving such information from time to time.