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Issue Date: October 2004

How to avoid being a spammer in the works

1 October 2004

The US Justice Department is set to announce a major crackdown on cybercrime that will include arrests, subpoenas and property seizures of alleged spammers and online scam artists.
Spam is starting to be taken very seriously as a crime internationally, according to a spam summit hosted by Systems Publishers in October. It is just a matter of time before the SA government follows suit. Already laws have been drawn up and regulatory adjustments made: last year's Spam Summit, hosted by Systems Publishers, led to the promulgation of a commercial set of guidelines for digital communications by the Marketing Federation of SA (MFSA).
Some of the key issues that were highlighted at the Summit last year centred around loopholes within the ECT Act arising largely from the lack of a definition of spam, or 'unsolicited commercial communication' as it is referred to in the Act.
According to international figures, spam will cost large US companies nearly $2000 per employee in lost productivity this year, despite improving technology designed to block the ever-growing volume of unsolicited commercial messages aimed at workers' e-mail accounts, according to a new report from Nucleus Research.
Digital communications have become the core of every successful company, but its abuse is proving to be damaging to those using it for genuine and constructive purposes. Marketers need to be educated in their proper use as they can unwittingly become spammers, damaging their own and their clients' reputations beyond repair.
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