According to reports from Hong Kong, the Telecommunications Authority is planning a series of moves to stop both unsolicited phone calls and unsolicited bulk email.

Though there have been no specifics yet, a new law will be promulgated some time next year. Au Man-ho, director-general of the Telecommunications Authority, said in a statement that the Telecommunications Authority will work with international anti-spam groups to work out particulars of the law. Both The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE) and Spamhaus, the world's largest anti-spam group, are actively working with Hong Kong and mainland China legislators to formulate fair guidelines to target companies and individuals involved in spamming.

Earlier in the year, Hong Kong's Commerce, Industry and Technology Bureau said it plans to launch the "STEPS" campaign to contain the problem of spamming.

The first letter "S" stands for strengthening existing regulatory measures. In conjunction with relevant industry associations and service providers, the Government will start work in two areas – fax and SMS and MMS. For fax, the Government will work closely with fixed telecommunications network service providers to penalize advertisers who continue to spam recipients on the "not-to-call" list by reducing the timeframe required to cut off their access to telecommunications services, which is their means to send out fax advertisements. For SMS and MMS, the Government plans to work with the industry to extend the existing code of practice for mobile network operators to cover all SMS and MMS unsolicited promotional messages, including those sent by the operators themselves.

The second letter "T" stands for technical solutions. The Government will collaborate with the industry to organise seminars, conferences and exhibitions to promote the latest anti-spam technical solutions to all users.

The third letter "E" stands for education. "In the fight against spam it is vital that the recipients play their part in denying the spammers by not purchasing anything marketed through spam or, better still, not responding to spam at all.

The fourth letter "P" stands for partnerships. The government highlighted that one possible partnership was the development of a common blacklist to filter spam at the local Internet service provider level.

The last letter "S" stands for statutory measures. The Hong Kong Government believed it would be necessary to enact legislation to regulate spamming.


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