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Austria investigating mass emails from right-wing candidate

Associated Press Associated Press 24/11/2016

VIENNA — Austria's telecommunication authority says it is investigating whether the country's right-wing presidential candidate breached an anti-spam law when he sent campaign emails to thousands of the country's citizens who live abroad.

The authority says it is investigating complaints from some of the Austrians who received emails.

Candidate Norbert Hofer's Freedom Party says Hofer's team sent 30,000-40,000 campaign emails to Austrians abroad who can vote by absentee ballot next month.

Authority spokesman Nikolaus Koller on Thursday cited a paragraph from the telecommunications law specifying that sending an email to recipients without their consent is illegal in cases where more than 50 such identical emails are sent.

Violations are punishable by fines up to 37,000 euros (over $39,000.)

Hofer faces left-leaning contender Alexander Van der Bellen in elections Dec. 4.

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