The Ministry of Information Industry (MII) has announced that China will put into force a new email service management regulation called the "Internet Email Service Management Measure" on March 30.

The new regulation defines spam as unsolicited bulk email and stipulates the market access requirements for email services to operate in China. Those individuals or companies who break the rules will face fines of up to CNY30000.

The new regulation also makes clear that email service providers should respect the privacy of email users and must not disclose their personal information to third parties. Recently, companies like Yahoo (YHOO) have been criticized for supplying email users' data to Chinese government authorities.

A reporting center has been opened to accept complaints about the email services and junk email messages, but groups like Spamhaus hope that the law will be enforced. A Spamhaus representative in Shanghai says that the decentralized workings of telecommunications operators around China often lead to miscommunication and lack or accountability.

Spamhaus is the world's largest anti-spam organization and has worked closely with the Ministry of Information Industry, Internet Society of China, and China's Public Security Bureau to find spammers working on the mainland.

Spamhaus is currently trying to solve problems with China Netcom's provincial telecoms who are hosting many spammers. In particular, China Netcom in Hainan and Shandong are both hosting spamgangs that are considered criminals in other parts of the world because of phishing attacks launched from China-based servers.

Statistics shows that Chinese Internet users received 16.8 spam email messages each week in 2005.


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