Notorious spammers in South Africa named and shamed

South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association’s (ISPA) has released a list of 54 email spammers and 32 address resellers expected to discourage people from sending unsolicited bulk e-mails for marketing purposes, and to encourage those on the list to improve their Internet behaviour.

“There is currently significant growth in the generation of local spam, and while ISPA’s members do their best to keep spam out of their customers’ inboxes, this does come at a cost,” ISPA’s general manager Ant Brooks said.

The list of the dynamic seminars includes New Heights 1268 (Jaco Derksen), SA Webs (not SA Web Design), Ketler Presentations, Brain Power and Worldclass Mobile aka Marketing House in the top five places.  Bulk eMail services, , Tony Baker – SA Data Marketing, Grey Apple Marketing and Johan Pretorius aka JP are among the shame-listed resellers.

According to the ISPA, the initiative boasts with great success, though some of the companies listed have been placed there multiple times before. Dynamic Seminars and New Heights 1268/Jaco Derksen are some of the regular shame-listed customers.

Some of the companies have been submitting complaints with the Complaint Commission. However, these objections have been rejected.

ISPA is however lobbying to improve the fight against spam, and has recently urged lawmakers to heed the interests of consumers when debating anti-spam provisions in the Protection of Personal Information Bill, MyBroadband reports.

The Direct Marketing Association of SA’s (DMASA) that has helped with the opt-out register also supports the battle for spam-free email use. However, the only way that consumers can really do something about receiving advertising bulk mails is mark them as spam.

It is the mission of the ISPA to enforce some anti-spam laws as part of the Protection of Personal Information Bill. This will obligate marketers to obtain consumers’ permission before sending them unwanted advertise.

The Consumer Protection Act and the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act had some mention of protection against unrequested marketing material. “Softer clauses,” have however made these rules vague and has been taken advantage of by the marketing industry.

For now, consumers can submit their complaints to their Internet Service Providers (ISP) who will gather names for submitting to lists of shame in attempt to reduce offensive activity.

Posted in: Internet

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