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April 25, 2011

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Officials get tough on spam faxes

AUTHORITIES are setting up a new hotline to crack down on spam faxes, the Shanghai Communications Administration has said.

The 12321 hotline is expected to launch in June and provide a direct link between the recipients of spam faxes and watchdog authorities, the administration said.

The communications bureau said they would also team up with police and the commercial watchdog to confirm the identities of fax senders.

Those that send faxes to swindle others will face criminal punishment.

Others guilty of abusing the fax platform to send advertisements would also be stopped.

The administration said faxes have become a low-cost business promotional tool in the city. It believes senders received office fax numbers in bulk from underground sellers.

Unlike some countries, China has no anti-spam fax regulations to curb the widespread nuisance.

"At a time when paperless offices are being advocated, these practices waste a lot of fax paper," said Leng Pei'en, a local biologist and member of the city's political advisory body, who has proposed the government take action to tackle the problem.

Some fax agents boasted on their websites that "70 percent of faxes could reach and be read by company leaders."

Leng said: "There should be a law made in order to crack down on junk faxing."

The public was also encouraged to report Internet spam, the administration said.


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