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Innovation

Canada closer to passing anti-spam law

Canada is playing catch up to the Australia, United Kingdom and the U.S. as the federal government edged one step closer to an anti-spam law.
Written by Doug Hanchard, Contributor on

Canada is playing catch up to the Australia, United Kingdom and the U.S. as the federal government edged one step closer to an anti-spam law. It passed third reading in the House of Commons and now goes before the Senate for review. According to a Cisco survey quoted by the Government, Canada ranks 4th in originating spam out to the world. The bill known as the Electronic Commerce Protection Act, C-27 will have teeth...

This bill would allow businesses and consumers to take civil action against anyone who violates the ECPA. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner will be given the power to share information and evidence with their counterparts in other countries who enforce similar laws internationally, so that violators beyond our borders cannot use Canada as a spam safe haven. The proposed ECPA would allow the CRTC and the Competition Bureau to charge offenders with administrative monetary penalties of up to $1 million for individuals, and $10 million for all other offenders.

Australia's Government Solicitor office teeth are the size of Great White Shark in comparison to what Canada's proposed penalties are. In a the case of one spammer it nailed them with pecuniary penalties of $4.5 million in respect of the corporate respondent, and $1 million in respect of the individual director.

In the United States, hundreds of cases have been before the courts and large fines assessed, but do not appear to be making a dent in the reduction of email spam.

How effective Canada's new law will be remains to be seen. Perhaps the government will send an email to let everyone know before it passes royal assent.

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