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E-mail User Receive 50 Spam Emails Per Day

Posted May. 26, 2003 21:21,   


A recent survey showed that web users received an average of 50 spam emails per day among which some 60 percent contained obscene materials unsuitable for children.

According to the Ministry of Information and Communication on May 26, the average spam receivership per day for an email user stood at 4.7 in 2001, but rapidly rose to 34.8 last year reaching as much as 50 per day this March.

Adding a more serious note to the problem is the increase of unsuitable pictures and content harmful to youth. In 2001, obscene materials amounted to 18.5 percent of emails, but increased to 61 percent last year, and was recorded at 63 percent this March, showing an aggravation of the problem.

Dreamwiz President Lee Chan-jin said that “the current anti-spam “Opt-out” method which cuts spam only for those who showed resistance would still not be able to root out illegal spam email. There should be an “Opt-in” method where spam is sent to only those who permitted it in advance.”

The “Opt-in” style is slated for use in the U.S. soon. The California State Senate passed a bill imposing a 500 dollar (some 600,000 won) penalty for each spam email sent by any commercial entity or business without permission from the receiver. The bill includes a stipulation that the penalty would go up three times higher in case senders give out spam email knowing that it is illegal.

The Ministry of Information and Communication decided to stop spam from getting to those who disapproved of spam from July 2001, imposing a 10 million won penalty. It also obligated advertisers to indicate their mail as “Ad” or “Only for Adults” with a 10 million won penalty for those who sent out obscene materials to youngsters.

The Ministry also enforced the same rule for phones and faxes from June 19, 2001 with the same penalties.

These efforts however have failed to succeed with the increasing number of spam mails in mail boxes.

Some 21 Internet companies including Dreamwiz, KT, Daum Communication and NHN that gathered together for “Healthy Internet World.”

“As spam email has such a negative influence on youth as it shows obscene materials rather than pure commercial purposes, Korea should take into consideration adopting the “Opt-in” method,” they said during the recent meeting.

Seong-Yub Ra cpu@donga.com