Security

Hong Kong Goes After Commercial Fax Spammer

An enforcement notice has been issued against a commercial fax sender in Hong Kong for continuously breaching the anti-spam rules outlined under Hong Kong's Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance.

"Despite our advice, the concerned sender kept sending messages to the numbers registered onto the do-not-call register (DNC). We therefore decided to issue the enforcement notice to direct the sender to comply with the legal requirements," stated a Hong Kong Office of the Telecommunications Authority spokesperson, who did not provide the name of the offending company.

Since the full commencement of the UEMO on December 22, 2007, OFTA says it has received 9,217 reports of suspected contravention and has dealt with 71% of those reports. According to OFTA, among the cases dealt with, 67 warning letters have been issued. In these cases, the concerned senders have undertaken rectification measures and hence no enforcement notice was warranted.

"This is the first enforcement notice issued under the UEMO. We will monitor the case closely to ensure that the concerned sender will undertake proper rectification measures in accordance with the enforcement notice. We will consider taking prosecution action if the concerned sender fails to comply with the enforcement notice. Any person who contravenes an enforcement notice is liable upon a first conviction to a fine of HK$100,000," the spokesperson continued.

Under the UEMO, bulk senders of commercial electronic messages are required to provide clear and accurate sender information in the message; to provide an unsubscribe facility and an unsubscribe facility statement in the message; and to honor unsubscribe requests within ten working days after the request has been sent. Senders must also not send commercial electronic messages to any telephone or fax number registered in Hong Kong's Do-not-call Registers starting from the tenth working day of its registration, unless consent has been given by the registered user of the relevant telephone or fax number. Finally, email senders are not allowed to send email messages with misleading subject headings.

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