Howard draws fire on spam from rival

Prime Minister John Howard's electoral "spamming" tactic has irked one of his rival candidates for the Sydney seat of Bennelong, Troy Rollo -- who also happens to be a prominent former anti-spam activist.Rollo, former chairman of the anti-spam group Coalition Against Unsolicited Bulk E-mail in Australia (CAUBE.

Prime Minister John Howard's electoral "spamming" tactic has irked one of his rival candidates for the Sydney seat of Bennelong, Troy Rollo -- who also happens to be a prominent former anti-spam activist.

Rollo, former chairman of the anti-spam group Coalition Against Unsolicited Bulk E-mail in Australia (CAUBE.AU), said he was not expecting a high profile politician to resort to spamming tactics to get ahead of his rivals.

"It wasn't something I was expecting to see. You won't normally expect such a high profile politician to engage into spam," he said.

Rollo said that unlike other political parties, he is not concerned about the content of the e-mails or where the funding comes from.

"Our position [at the CAUBE.AU] has always been that it is not the content of the spam or where the funding comes from that is relevant, the bulk is what causes the damage. If it's an unsolicited e-mail then it is spam regardless of what the content is," he said.

Rollo believes that the tactic will have an adverse effect since, based on their organisation's experience, people generally do not like spam.

"As far as voters are concerned, people always say that they hate spam so I believe this would be more counterproductive than helpful."

He assured that he will not be doing the same thing as Howard and urges others not to copy the Prime Minister's strategy.

"I absolutely am not doing the same thing and I would hope others will not copy this as well. There is a high condemnation on it and the sort of press this issue is getting is not what [the Prime Minister] would like to have."

However, Rollo fears that there is always a danger that after one starts the trend, other candidates will follow as well.

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