Australian authorities, using the country's anti-spam legislation, are charging a Perth man with using a global server network to send out 56 million spam messages.

The Australian Communications Authority has accused Wayne Mansfield, and his company Clarity1 (which also uses the name Business Seminars) of being a major spammer, according to reports from Sophos, Inc., an anti-spam and anti-virus company. Proceedings against Mansfield have been launched in Perth's federal court. He could face multi-million dollar fines if found guilty.

Federal authorities claim Mansfield is responsible for sending out 56 million spam messages via a network of computer servers around the world, Sophos reports.

''Spam is a worldwide problem which knows no national boundaries, and computer crime authorities are working hard at tracking down the worst offenders,'' said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, in an online alert. ''People can be deluged with spam sent from a computer on the other side of the world. As this is the first case under Australia's relatively new anti-spam legislation many people around the globe will be interested to see how the case progresses.''

Australia's anti-spam legislation went into effect in April, 2004. It calls for penalties of up to AU $1.1 million a day for companies that repeatedly break the law.