Monday, June 07, 2004

Spam in Argentina - recent news

1) Anti Spam Conference.
The AntiSpam-Forum 2004 (you can see the web site only with Explorer, Mozzilla et al wont work) was a great success with the presence of all the players and representants from ISP associations from South Africa, Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela and Brazil.

AMDIA (the marketing assoc. of Argentina) and CABASE (the isp and telecom assoc. of Argentina) signed a letter of intention to erradicate spam with the collaboration of ISP. The hard part of this proposal is to make it work. The most interesting proposal came from CAUCE Argentina, which you can check in Spanish here).

At least, this proposal may help to take Argentina from place number 7 in the spam ranking of Spamhaus (Argentina used to be in position n. 5!).

2) First Spam case in Argentina.
To our surprise, the defendants in our spam test case answered the complaint. They argued that our emails are in the web, so they came from a public source. Finally the argue that they do not handle any database of emails. The said that they just compile those emails they consider more useful from the web and do the spam!. From their point of view, the internet is unregulated in Argentina so the privacy and nuisance provisions of the Civil Code we invoked in the complaint do not apply to this case. Needless is to say that with this legal answer they have forced the Court to decide whether this techniques are legal in Argentina, and of course, they are illegal in the rest of the world (see Sorkin and Bolin) and in this country too under the data protection law. When we tell someone to stop the unsolicited communications and they do not stop, your only legal remedy is to sue them. This is so plain simple that I do not think it requires any further discussion. We have requested the judge to invite some amicus curiae.

3) Article about spam.
See my article about the legal problems of spam here (PDF in spanish).

Pablo Palazzi

Data retention in Argentina

Law 25.873 was enacted on January 2004 and mandated a ten year data retention period for all data traffic. The law was stringly critiziced by ISP because they have to bear the burden and cost of storing all these data. It was also critiziced because it is not clear whether all this data will be regulated by the data protection law and the ten year period is the longest in comparative law.

Recently, many locals ISPs and hosting services started to argue that they have their servers abroad so they do not have to comply with this law (unless the parent company is served with a subpoena). Also, the law was introduced into the telecomunications law of Argentina, but neither ISP nor other internet services are cosnidered public utilities under the law.

Argentina: Regulation of mobiles phones, privacy and anonimity.-

A new law was enacted to curb the use of mobile phones in crimes. Telephone companies are required to gather personal information from all users of mobile phones and interchange the list of stolen or lost mobile phones wit the the regulatory commission for telecommunications. Calling cards to be used with mobile phones are going to be regulated by the government (presumably, to avoid anonimity in this cases). The regulatory body for telecom shall have a database of mobile users and will make it accesible to enforcement agencies. The law also creates a new crime: to alter or modify the serial number or the credit information of a mobile phone.
See Law no. 25.891.

Genetic Privacy

The Ministry of Justice of Argentina created a DNA database to compare samples from criminals and convicted felons. Resolution 415/2004 of the Ministerio de Justicia, Seguridad provides that the genetic database has to be registered with the data protection agency of argentina and comply with privacy, secrecy and confidentiality provisions.