The integrity or otherwise of Mr Howard’s bulk e-mail campaign through his son’s company I’ll leave to others to judge. However there’s a deeper issue raised by Communications and IT Minister Helen Coonan’s advice (The Age, Sat 28/8) that “Political parties, government bodies, charities, religious organisations and educational institutions are exempt from the spam laws.”
I must say this list of exemptions was news to me, and probably to others. With the possible exception of charities (and then only under strict limitations), I fail to see sound reasons for any of these exemptions, including churches such as my own. Why is it legitimate for anyone to clog cyberspace with data, enroute to servers and hard disks where it isn’t wanted? In an age when spam is emerging as a threat to the internet’s long-term viability, what could possess any legislative body to exempt itself?