Chinese experts demand reforms in anti-spamming laws

Staff Writer
April 12, 2011
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Legal experts in China have been quoted in one of the country's state-run newspapers,  China Daily, suggesting reforms are needed to combat the increasing level of spam in China. They highlighted fraud-based spam, and said that in five regions of China, including Shanghai and Guangdong provinces, fraud cost mobile phone users more than 1 billion yuan ($153 million) over the course of 2009.

"We need a long-term and systematic method to curb the spam," said Wang Yongjie, deputy dean of the law school at the University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai.

Currently spam is a major problem in China, and mobile phone users receive, on average,  more than 11 spam text messages every week. The main issue, however, is that much of this is sent legally. Some agencies in Beijing charge a mere 12,000 yuan for assisting companies apply for a legal license as a service provider. The licenses are granted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and enable the companies to send spam messages without fear of prosecution.

The proposed reforms would include greater cooperation between the government and China's three national telecom networks in reporting and following up on complaints regarding spam. Lawyers specialising in privacy laws in China have also also suggested more profound changes, stating that civil laws need to be updated to take into account technological changes which have facilitated the collection and spread of huge volumes of personal information, including phone numbers, addresses and car registrations.


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