Note: This column represents the opinions
of the writer and as such, is not purported as fact|
If this story
published by Stuff.co.nz this morning is to be believed, some online publishers
may soon be hit with unexpected costs.
the contents of Aardvark's "million-dollar ideas" notebook
are revealed for all to see!
First of all let me say that I think it's highly laudable that the government
might want to build up its own library of online publications. Such a collection
will be of great value to future generations as they look back at how
we embraced (or not) the biggest thing since the industrial revolution.
However, as an online publisher who operates on a very tight budget of time
and money, anyone expecting me to comply with this new bill and foot the
costs of such compliance will get short shrift.
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Let's make no bones about it -- compliance costs are nothing more than
another tax and I don't see why I (or anyone else) should be taxed for
contributing to the very heritage the government seeks to preserve.
I already spend far too much of my time working as an unpaid servant
of government in order to comply with the growing raft of legislation
that ankle-taps so many small businesses. Enough is enough.
Spammer Hides Behind Privacy Act
If you received a spam from a local company this weekend inviting you to buy
some software that will check email for viruses then you might be tempted
to complain to the spammer or their ISP.
Unfortunately, you probably won't be able to
sue them because, unlike an
increasing number of states in the USA, we don't seem to have any anti-spamming
legislation. This is something which surprises me, especially in light of the
fact that National MP "Bruiser" Brownlee has recently taken Out! magazine
to task for sending him unsolicited snail mail.
According to a story published
in the Dominion, Brownlee claims that he has
a "right not to receive junk mail" which surely means that he would also
support the introduction of anti-spamming legislation, right?
Despite the lack of legislative support, one Aardvark reader did contact this
weekend's local spammer and bitch about their actions.
The reaction they received was somewhat mixed. Initially their complaints
were met with an apologetic "gosh, I don't know how your name got on that
list" type of response -- but then they turned a little less friendly...
According to the spammer, "all information was collected from publicly
available sources" and they then went on to quote a raft of provisions in the
Privacy Act which allegedly make it quite legal to carry out such a spam-run
using harvested addresses.
The complainant was then told that "If however you wish to discuss this
further, please direct your comments to the privacy commission."
Clearly these people have never heard of
Come on parliament (that includes you "Bruiser"), let's try to catch up with
the rest of the world and introduce legislation that protects our email boxes
from the unethical and unwanted attentions of those "direct email marketers"
who don't play fair.
The growing levels of spam are starting to threaten the viability of using
cellular technology to retrieve email. Who's going to spend a hefty sum to
retrieve mail using their cellphone when the majority of it turns out to be
unsolicited junk email?
Oh, and who was that local spammer?
Well here's a clue. I went to their website and thought I'd try to determine
whether the mailing list they were running was one of those easily abused
Here's what it said
when I tried to subscribe one of my (quite valid) test email addresses.
One would hope that their anti-virus email filters were written with a little
more care than their mailing list subscription system.
Have your say.
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