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Car magazine rebuffed for e-mail perversion

August 17, 2001 

British car magazine MaxPower has received an official warning from the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for sending out a Big Brother promotional email that accused recipients of breaching the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).

The email was headlined "RIPA. Legal document. Please read. Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. Offence no 323 -- Internet perversion." The body text contained a parody of the controversial RIPA, which regulates the monitoring of electronic communications such as email messages. The e-mail then linked to a promotional advertisement for a MaxPower car show.

Distressed recipients objected to the official look of the e-mail, and claimed that it caused an undue amount of fear and stress. The email accused the recipient of using their Internet connection to "access material of a violent, sexually explicit or immoral nature on 42 separate occasions." Recipients were threatened with the prospect of criminal prosecution, and informed that "if you wish to appeal these charges, application must be made to the RIPA office within seven days." --Wendy McAuliffe, ZDNet UK


Copyright © 2001 ZD Inc.

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