China Telecom combats junk mail

The Chinese telco giant threatens to turn in junk e-mailers to its legal department -- and may even take the most egregious spammers to court.

BEIJING ( - China Telecom issued its first rules to combat electronic junk mail, threatening to close down accounts or block the telephone lines of its users who send junk mail and, in certain cases, to take those responsible to court.

In accordance with its "interim procedure on junk mail", China Telecom will consider any unsolicited e-mail advertisement, publication or other material, junk mail.

Any e-mail sent without the sender's name and address or a clear way to cancel such service will also be considered junk mail.

The same goes for e-mails that go against the security strategy or service clause of other network service providers or that could lead to complaints.

China Telecom also published a number of e-mail addresses to handle junk mail complaints.

According to the interim procedures, China Telecom is authorized to warn junk mail senders against continuing their mailings or to suspend their service temporarily or permanently without notification.

China Telecom may also turn the senders over to their legal department if the offenders cause severe disturbance to network communication.

Specifically, dial-up users who are found sending junk mail will first get a warning and then be put on a supervision list. If they continue sending junk mail, China Telecom will halt their accounts temporarily or permanently and turn severe violators over for prosecution.

Dedicated line users will also get a warning first. If they fail to give a response in three days or stop in five days, China Telecom will block their gateway or router.

Chang Xiaobing, executive deputy president of China Telecom, told People’s Daily that resolute measures must be taken against junk mail as it has become rampant in the past several years on the Mainland.

He said that the China Telecom net administrators receive more than 20 letters each day from overseas network operators or individuals, complaining that mainland junk mail was disturbing their operations.

Chang said that "our principle is to guarantee the legitimate communication rights of all users".

Chang admitted that there isn't a technological means of efficiently stopping junk mail transmission.

Earlier this year, Beijing Administration of Industry and Commerce issued a notice to regulate the e-mail transmission of commercial information.


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