China Says, 'No Thank You, Maam

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China Telecom, a Beijing-based telecommunications company, yesterday said it plans to introduce a tough new anti-spam policy that includes suspension from Internet service, account termination and, in severe instances, criminal prosecution.

According to a report in the China Daily newspaper, China Telecom is instituting a five-step system to prevent companies from sending spam through its growing network. Penalties for spamming China Telecom users begin with a warning and quickly increase in severity if the accused firm continues to blast the network.

If the initial warning is ignored, the suspected spammer is placed on a monitoring list. If the spam continues, the company's account can be suspended or even terminated. For companies that still continue to spam, China Telecom is threatening to bring criminal charges.

The ISP also will set up a special mailbox to receive complaints from spam victims. The report did not say when these measures would become effective.

China, with nearly 17 million Internet users, according to government records, is beginning to fulfill the potential that many online companies have long predicted. One of the consequences of the market's emergence, however, has been large volumes of spam.

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