First fines for Dutch spammers

By EDRi · December 30, 2004

For the first time since the spam-ban went into force in the Netherlands
(19 May 2004) the Dutch regulatory authority OPTA has fined Dutch
spammers. One spammer is accused of having sent 4 spam-runs and now faces
a fine of 42.500 euro. Two of his spams advertised a CD-ROM with
invoice-software, another one was directly aimed at discrediting the most
famous spam-fighter in the Netherlands, Rejo Zenger. His organisation
Spamvrij maintained an on-line blacklist of notorious Dutch spammers. The
spammer tried to make it look as if Rejo Zenger had sent spam advertising
the book Mein Kampf.

OPTA has also fined an SMS-spammer with 20.000 euro in total, for sending
unsolicited SMS’s costing the recipient 1,10 euro per message, without
providing any unsubscribe options.

Currently, in the Netherlands only natural persons are protected against
unsolicited commercial, idealistic or charitable e-mail messages. The
minister of Economical Affairs, Mr Brinkhorst, has finally acknowledged
self-regulation is not an option for business recipients. In a letter from
20 December 2004 to the Lower House he promises additional legislation to
protect all recipients against spam. Companies that wish to receive
unsolicited mail will have to create a special new e-mail address and make
it publicly available.

Press release OPTA (in Dutch, 28.12.2004)