New Zealand is to pass a law to make spamming illegal, according to NZ news site TV3.
"Next month the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act will take effect - meaning spammers in New Zealand can be prosecuted," said the article.
"But the vast majority of spam coming from overseas will be just as bad as ever," the author gloomily pointed out.
Globally there is a complex patchwork of laws. The US CAN-SPAM act has been criticised for being too soft on spammers, especially due to the recipient having to opt out of receiving more spam. The majority of spam comes from the USA and Asia.
In Europe the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive is supposed to have been enacted right across the board, but countries have enacted the Directive with varying degrees of penalty for spamming. In the UK, companies can be fined up to £5000 for spamming -- however, at the time of writing the Information Commissioner's Office had not prosecuted any UK spammers.