Hong Kong's Office of the Telecommunications Authority announced that its do-not-call register for short messages would be launched today.

This is the second do-not-call register since the full commencement of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance on December 22, 2007. The first do-not-call register is for fax.

"The public can register their telephone numbers onto the do-not-call register for short messages to decline unsolicited commercial short messages. The do-not-call register for short messages covers short message service (SMS) messages and multimedia message service (MMS) messages sent over the mobile network as well as short messages sent over the fixed network. Registration can be done by calling the registration hotline 1835001 using the phone of the number they intend to register," a spokesperson from OFTA said in a prepared statement.

For numbers registered onto the do-not-call register for short messages before January 24, 2008, the protection under the UEMO will commence on February 5, 2008. For numbers registered on or after January 25, 2008, the protection will start on the tenth working day after the registration date. The public may check the registration date of their numbers online. From 25 January 2008 onwards, the registration date of numbers listed on the do-not-call register for short messages can also be checked by calling the registration hotline 1835001 in Hong Kong.

"The first do-not-call register is for fax messages and was launched on 22 December 2007. Up to 6 January 2008, a total of 19,013 numbers have been registered onto the do-not-call register for fax. There is no deadline for registration and the public can continue to register their numbers onto the do-not-call register for fax by calling the hotline 1835002. Protection for the numbers already registered and any numbers to be registered before 23:00 today will commence on 18 January 2008. For numbers registered onto the do-not-call register for fax on or after 8 January 2008, the protection will start on the tenth working day after the registration date," the spokesperson added.

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