[KS] Powerful website blocking spam

Henny Savenije adam_eve at henny-savenije.pe.kr
Wed Aug 21 20:06:33 EDT 2002


Powerful Web site blocking spam           The Fair Trade Commission, the 
country's top trade watchdog, said yesterday it will launch the country's 
first spam blocking Web site, aimed at helping individual users fight the 
nuisance of flooding junk mails.

The FTC said the spam blocking site Nospam (www. nospam.go.kr, or 
www.antispam.go.kr) starts formal operations today.

Once individual users register with the anti-spam Web site, offering their 
telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, all the spam mail messages will be 
blocked from reaching the mail accounts in question.

Although other countries are keen to control the influx of unsolicited 
commercial mail, the Korean government's latest step is widely viewed as 
unprecedented in its nature.

According to the FTC, online marketers must not send any e-mail 
advertisement messages or mobile short messages to those who are listed in 
the Nospam Web site.

Government regulators said individuals who list their e-mail and telephone 
information for the anti-spam site are virtually expressing their legally 
binding intention not to receive any spam mail.

Online marketers, in other words, are expected to face tough penalties if 
they send spam mail to those who registered with the spam blocking Web 
site. Not only e-mail, but also telephone calls for the purpose of selling 
items to random recipients and SMS (short messaging service) transmissions 
are banned.

The FTC said those who receive any unwanted e-mail messages after 
registering with the Nospam site can seek damages against violators. And 
those who ignore the rules will be subjected to heavy penalties, a business 
suspension of less than one year or other formal punishments.

The FTC said the telephone numbers listed on the Nospam Web site will be 
forwarded to all e-commerce and telemarketing firms Oct. 1. But online 
marketing firms cannot check the full list of those who intend not to 
receive spam mail. Instead, they can compare their customer e-mail (or 
spam) list with the database of the Nospam site, which will be fully encrypted.

The FTC sources said it is considering making it obligatory for all the 
companies to check the database before sending any spam mail in order to 
block some small companies from continuing to send unsolicited commercial 
mail to users.

The FTC's drastic measure, meanwhile, is likely to overlap with the spam 
crackdown by the Ministry of Information and Communication. Last month, the 
information ministry slapped fines of 4-5 million won on six companies for 
sending unsolicited mail messages to users.

In early July, the information ministry revised the details of the related 
law, forcing marketing companies to identify the content of the spam mail 
in the header as an "advertisement" so that users can filter them out 
easily. The ministry is now focusing on those who bypass the rules by 
adjusting the "advertisement" marker slightly on purpose or ignore 
recipient's explicit rejection.

(insight at koreaherald.co.kr)

By Yang Sung-jin Staff reporter
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