Ottawa’s anti-spam laws still waiting to kick in

by Andrew Roach on January 2, 2013

Nearly 2 years on since the government passed legislation to prevent us from getting any unwanted mail, we’re still waiting to see any effects from it.

With the laws still yet be to be implemented, many of us are still powerless to stop hoards of spam e-mails and adverts appearing whenever we use the internet or log-in to our e-mails.

The laws were created as part of the Canada’s Anti-Spam Act back in December 2010 after nearly 6 years of research and planning to prevent one of the most annoying parts of the Internet.

When it does come into play, the anti-spam laws will virtually forbid business to send out messages to personal e-mails without the addresses permission and require all commercial mail to have an opt-out feature allowing the user to unsubscribe with a click of the button. It would also mean heavy punishment for offending parties who could face a fine of up to $1,000,000.

However, with so much talk and so little action, there is growing unrest from both the public and with rival parties. When speaking with CBC, NDP MP Rachel Borg said that “we’re seeing this constant lateness and meanwhile technology continues to evolve and there’s new threats that are posed and citizens are more and more concerned about their privacy online”.

Even though there has not been any word from the government about the delay in the laws coming into effect, the media and communication watchdog CRTC has mentioned that they are taking the spam issues seriously already.

After finalising their own set of rules early in 2012, CRTC launched their own Spam Reporting Centre which can allow any frustrated or concerned users to report offending parties which would then be investigated by the board.

Despite this being a step forward, it still won’t be some time until we see the laws come into play. Industry Canada, who are helping introduce the regulations nationwide, are still reviewing this legislation and tweaking it so it can be applied fully. However, this would mean that it would need a second round of public consultation which would setback things for at least another year.

So whilst we sit and wait for the spam laws to come in at some point in the next year or two, it looks like we are going to have to take matters into our own hands to stop receiving junk in our inbox.

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Written by: Andrew Roach Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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