Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spam Law Revision

"The government is moving toward outlawing spam mails, and target their foreign-based senders.

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has presented the Diet with revisions to the Spam Law that will fine offenders up to 30 million yen -- 30 times greater than the current maximum penalty of 1 million yen -- and also go after the overseas based spammers they say are sending the bulk of unwanted e-mail in Japan.

"Concerns remain about how these tough new laws could be policed, but the ministry is hoping to enlist the aid of foreign governments to crack down on the scourge of computer users.

"Ministry officials hope to have the Spam Law revisions passed during the current Diet session and the changes enacted within this year.

"Under the existing Spam Law, unless users specify that they do not want redirected e-mail, sending spam is not illegal and senders can basically continue flooding mailboxes.

"More than 90 percent of spam sent to computers and over half that forwarded to mobile phones comes from overseas. It has so far been unclear whether Japanese crimefighters could pursue illegal e-mail sent from outside of the country.

"Under the revisions, the government would track down spammers from overseas, present information on them to foreign governments and request assistance in bringing them to justice.

"Success of the proposals would depend greatly on the extent of cooperation foreign authorities are prepared to provide.

"Among the main points of the ministry's proposals are:

"OUTLAWING advertisement mail sent without prior approval from the recipient;

"RAISING fines for corporate offenders from their current maximum of 1 million yen to 30 million yen:

"EMPOWERING Internet service providers to block persistent spammers;

"MAKING the law apply to foreign-based spammers; and,

"SUBJECTING local companies that hire foreign spammers to send junk e-mails to administrative punishments."

By Mainichi Shimbun (1/3/2008) , Link to article (last visited 2/3/2008)


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