While Canada dithers in dealing with spam, Australia continues to lead. Australia has taken an aggressive anti-spam approach and has been rewarded by dropping from the ranks of the country’s most responsible for spam. Canadian governments have done little to deal with the issue and we consistently find ourselves ranked in the top ten of spam producing countries.
Now following on their tough anti-spam legislation (which was cited as a model for our National Task Force on Spam), comes news that the Australian Communications and Media Authority has registered a binding code on ISPs and email service providers that require them to take a series of steps to combat spam including making filters available and setting limits on outbound spam. Failure to abide by the code can result in fines up to $10 million. In Canada, the best we have are a series of non-binding "best practices".
There are no legal consequences for failing to abide by the best practices. That’s the difference between a binding code and best practices. It is also the difference between a country prepared to take action against spam and one that seemingly isn’t.