john howard - please take note and copy this

  1. 635 Posts.
    This is a law Australia need.
    Include junk and unwanted e-mail in the process.
    Have a go folks - forward this to your local federal member of Parliament.
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    Thousands Sign Up for Anti-Telemarketing List
    4 minutes ago Add Technology - Reuters to My Yahoo!

    By Andy Sullivan

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Americans hoping to keep unwanted telephone sales calls at bay signed on to a free "do not call" list on Friday that will prevent most telemarketers from bothering them at home.

    Eager Americans rushed to place their home phone numbers on the Federal Trade Commission's list shortly after President Bush (news - web sites) unveiled it in a White House ceremony.

    By 2:30 p.m. EDT the list had grown to 635,000 and was on pace to top 2 million by midnight West Coast time, an FTC spokeswoman said.

    The do-not-call list should help Americans enjoy their private time without unwanted interruptions, Bush said a few hours after the list was opened up for registration.

    "When Americans are sitting down to dinner or a parent is reading to his or her child, the last thing they need is a call from a stranger with a sales pitch," Bush said in a White House Rose Garden ceremony.

    Telemarketers who call numbers on the list after Oct. 1 will face penalties of up to $11,000 per call, as well as possible consumer lawsuits.

    Consumers can sign up for the list by logging on to (http://donotcall.gov), while those living west of the Mississippi river can also register by calling 1-888-382-1222.

    Consumers will not have to pay to get on the list, as it will be funded by telemarketers.

    Plunging long-distance rates and computerized dialers have led to a five-fold increase in telemarketing calls over the past decade, prompting a deluge of consumer complaints.

    LIST COULD HELP TELEMARKETERS TOO

    Telemarketers have bitterly opposed the list, but FTC Chairman Timothy Muris said it would help them target consumers who do not mind getting sales calls.

    "If you talk privately with telemarketers ... they will tell you that they don't want to call people who don't want to be called," Muris said at the White House.

    Do-not-call lists have proven popular in the roughly 25 states that have set them up. In Minnesota, for example, roughly half of the state's 2.2 million residential line subscribers have registered.

    FTC officials ultimately expect 60 million households to sign up for the national list, prompting the agency to delay telephone-based registration until July 7 for those living east of the Mississippi in an effort to handle demand.

    Individuals across the country said they had trouble getting on to the Web site on Friday morning, or were kicked off once they started the registration process. FTC spokeswoman Cathy MacFarlane said the Web site was receiving 1,000 hits per second.

    Consumers don't need to rush as they have all summer to sign up and will not see a drop-off in telemarketing calls until Oct. 1, MacFarlane said, adding they will still be able to sign up for the list after the summer.

    The list does not cover all callers. Nonprofit and political callers will be free to ignore it, but will have to honor consumer requests not to be called back. Businesses will be free to call customers for 18 months after making a sale, but they too will have to honor opt-out requests.

    Telemarketing groups have sued to scratch the effort, arguing that it abridges free-speech rights, and say it could wreak havoc on an industry that employs 2 million.

    Privacy advocate Jason Catlett, who has pushed for a national list for years, said he has little sympathy for their plight.

    "Free speech doesn't give you the right to pester people in their homes when they don't want to be pestered," said Catlett, president of Junkbusters Corp., which helps clients avoid unwanted commercial pitches.
 
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