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The ACMA unites with Canadian counterpart to fight spam and unsolicited telemarketing

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) have joined forces to help combat unwanted telemarketing and e-marketing.

The two organisations have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to exchange information and intelligence to assist each other with spam and telemarketing investigations, improving the enforcement capabilities of both countries. The MoU was signed at a ceremony in Sydney yesterday afternoon by ACMA acting Chairman, Richard Bean, and visiting CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais.

‘Given the use of increasingly complex and widespread transnational networks to undertake e-marketing and telemarketing, international cooperation is essential to respond to unlawful practices,’ said ACMA acting Chairman Richard Bean. ‘We look forward to expanding our work with our Canadian regulatory counterparts to take the fight to unsolicited telemarketing and e-marketing operators.’

The MoU establishes a framework that will help both agencies to keep innovating in the battle to reduce the threat unsolicited marketing messages can pose to the citizens of both countries.

It formalises one aspect of long-standing cooperation between the ACMA and the CRTC. For example, the ACMA-developed Spam Intelligence Database software for reports and complaints-handling was shared with the CRTC in 2011 to assist it in processing spam reports from Canadian citizens.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: EmmaRossi, Media Manager, (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or media@acma.gov.au.

Media release 21/2017 - May 19

Backgrounder

An MoU is a non-binding agreement between two or more parties about how they will work together or share information about a common issue.

MoUs are a formal avenue that many government agencies domestically and across the globe use to indicate a common intent and establish a framework for sharing information. They help streamline the provision of information between the signatory organisations, but do not generally place legal obligations on the agencies involved.

Under Australia’s Spam Act 2003 (Spam Act) and Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (DNCR Act) ,the ACMA has functions that include liaising with regulatory and other relevant bodies overseas about co-operative arrangements for the prohibition or regulation of unsolicited telemarketing calls and unsolicited marketing faxes.

The ACMA uses MoUs to engage with other international regulators to address the global problem of unsolicited communications. The ACMA has similar MoUs in place with the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs and with members within the Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network (UCENet – formerly known as the London Action Plan).

The CRTC is responsible for the enforcement of Canada’s anti-spam legislation and Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules. Canada’s legislation contains similar obligations for marketing messages and telemarketing calls as those specified in Australia’s Spam Act and DNCR Act.

The Spam Act sets out that commercial electronic messages must be sent with the recipient’s consent, contain information about the authoriser of the message, and contain an unsubscribe facility.

The DNCR Act prohibits most types of unsolicited telemarketing calls or marketing faxes to numbers on the Do Not Call Register.

Last updated: 19 May 2017

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