The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
(CRTC) has announced that it has signed
a memorandum of understanding with 10 domestic and
global enforcement agencies to aid in the enforcement of spam and
telemarketing laws. However, while the announcement is
certainly a step in the right direction, many of the countries that
produce the most spam were not at the table.
The agreement is intended to promote cooperation between the
various enforcement agencies, and includes commitments by each
signatory to share information and intelligence regarding
unsolicited communications, where permitted by the laws of its
For its part, in Canada, s. 60 of Canada's
Anti-Spam Legislation permits the government, the
CRTC, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and
the Commissioner of Competition to share information with foreign
governments and agencies with respect to investigations and
enforcement activities relating to foreign laws that address
conduct that is substantially similar to conduct prohibited under
Canadian laws regulating unsolicited telecommunications and
commercial electronic messages.
In addition to the involvement of the CRTC and the OPC, the
memorandum was signed by 9 international agencies, from the U.S.,
Australia, the Netherlands, the UK, Korea, New Zealand and South
Each of the signatories to the new MOU is a member of the
Plan" (LAP), a global organization created to
promote international spam enforcement cooperation and address spam
related problems, such as online fraud and deception, phishing, and
dissemination of viruses.
Interestingly, while all signatories are members of the LAP, not
all LAP members have signed on to this latest memorandum -- in
fact, only about one third of LAP members have signed on.
More significantly, absent from the list of signatories are
regulatory agencies from 8 of the Top
10 Worst Spam Countries, as compiled by the Spamhaus
Project, an international organization that tracks spammers and
Enforcement agencies, including the CRTC, face many challenges
in investigating and enforcing unsolicited communications laws
where the alleged perpetrators operate from outside of Canada,
necessarily requiring the cooperation of local regulatory and
enforcement authorities. Some feel that as a result, CRTC
enforcement activity disproportionately focuses on known and
legitimate domestic companies, many of whom are trying to comply
with the rules, rather than on rogue international operators, whose
campaigns often have fraudulent objectives.
Hopefully, these new information and intelligence sharing
arrangements will assist somewhat with the CRTC's international
enforcement challenge, although the effectiveness of the initiative
will be frustrated by the absence of a majority of the biggest
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Software license agreements generally require the customer to pay fees for the software license and related services, which fees are usually based upon the duration of the license and the manner in which the customer is allowed to use the software, together with applicable taxes and withholdings.
In less than nine months, on July 1, 2017, persons affected by a contravention of Canada's anti-spam legislation will be able to invoke a private right of action to sue for compensation and potentially substantial statutory damages.
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