Internet marketeer faces spam charges

Regulators accuse Wayne Mansfield of sending 50 million emails that violate Australia's anti-spam laws

One of Australia's most notorious internet marketeers is to face the federal court next month on allegations that he sent millions of unsolicited bulk emails.

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) alleges Wayne Mansfield and his company, Clarity 1, sent at least 56 million commercial emails in the 12 months after the Spam Act was enacted in April 2004.

Most of these were unsolicited spam, claims the ACA.

The regulator also claims the Perth-based company 'harvested' email addresses for spamming purposes, and used a network of servers around the world to send the emails.

The ACA has appealed for an interim injunction against Clarity 1 before the court hearing in Perth on 20 July.

An ACA spokesperson told ZDNet Australia Mansfield received several warnings before it raided his company premises in April.

This is not the first time Mansfield has been accused of spamming. In 2002, he unsuccessfully tried to sue anti-spam activist Joey McNicol after the latter published the IP addresses of T3 Direct, a company that Mansfield owned.

Mansfield claimed that McNicol's actions resulted in a blacklist of his online marketing operations.

The Spam Act carries penalties of up to AU$220,000 (£94,000) per day for first-time corporate offenders and up to AU$1.1m (£0.47m) per day for repeat offenders.