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Hong Kong threatens spam e-mail senders with five years in jail.

May 29, 2007

29 May 2007

Hong Kong- Officials in Hong Kong were preparing Tuesday to introduce new laws against spam e-mail that bring five-year prison terms and fines up to 130,000 US dollars for persistent offenders. The regulations, which come into effect Friday, come in the wake of growing numbers of complaints from residents and businesses across the city of 6.9 million of being bombarded by junk e-mails.

However, experts warned that the law would not lead to a sudden drop in junk e-mails because an estimated 90 per cent come from overseas - mostly the United States, Europe and mainland China - and are beyond Hong Kong's jurisdiction and control.

From Friday, people who receive junk e-mails may complain to Hong Kong's Office of Telecommunications Authority, which will investigate the cases. The law also covers junk faxes and prerecorded telephone messages.

The Hong Kong government resisted calls for cold calls from telesales agents to be included in the new legislation, saying that outlawing such calls could cost tens of thousands of jobs.



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