Federal MP and general shit-stirrer Craig Kelly is facing a legal probe by the TGA over those spammy anti-vaxx text messages he’s been plaguing the Australian public with.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which regulates the use and advertising of drugs in Australia, is getting legal advice on whether the inclusion of its website in Kelly’s mass texts potentially breaches the Criminal Code.
In case you missed it, Craig Kelly sent millions of Australians a text message that read: “Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccines Adverse Events Report. click link Uaptga.com Authorised by Craig Kelly.”
You’d think he’d at least manage not to sound like an incoherent bot, but alas.
The text message, which was sent out by the United Australia Party, links to a website that uses the TGA’s logo and shows its data (seemingly taken out of context) around adverse COVID vaccine reactions.
Second text from Craig Kelly. Dude take a hint. pic.twitter.com/9xyNLmJWRn
— Ange (@angeplusfour) September 3, 2021
In a statement to the ABC’s Triple J Hack, the TGA said it’s consulting with the Commonwealth on “whether the use of the TGA logo in this way potentially breaches both copyright legislation and the Criminal Code Act 1995”.
The Criminal Code Act relates to federal crimes, and the reason it’s potentially relevant here is because it prevents the impersonation or false representation of a Commonwealth body, aka the TGA.
Apart from that, the TGA said it can’t take any further measures against the texts since they’re not considered false advertising.
“In this instance, the text messages and website do not appear to constitute advertising under the Act so no compliance action can be taken,” a spokesperson for the TGA said, per Hack.
After heaps of complaints from Aussie’s angry about receiving the texts, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said previously that they can’t do anything since it’s totally legal for political figures to send you texts that look pretty much like spam.
“Messages from political parties, independent members of parliament (phone calls only), government bodies and registered charities are exempt from most spam and telemarketing rules,” the ACMA said in a tweet.
Uhhhhh… someone has decided to send out their own mass text messages, pretending to be Craig Kelly pic.twitter.com/zcv6ep0vZR
— casey briggs (@CaseyBriggs) September 4, 2021
Kelly himself has previously defended his messages, somehow equivocating anger at receiving unwanted text messages to…vaccine passports?
“If they’re concerned about Australians’ privacy, they should be standing up and calling for an end to vaccine passports,” Kelly told The Age.
“I find it a bit ironic that people are upset about their privacy by getting a text message, but by the same token, they’re absolutely silent about Australians having to show their health records before they could go and get a job across the state border.”
I’m not sure that comparison really translates, but hey, wouldn’t be the first time I don’t understand this man’s reasoning.