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Assembly Boosts Internet Scam Penalties

Posted December. 12, 2005 08:20,   


People who engage in “phishing” and who send spam mail for illegal activities will face criminal punishment starting next year.

Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.

On December 11, the Ministry of Information and Communication and the National Assembly announced that the National Assembly passed recently a revision to “the law on the promotion of information network use and information protection” in a plenary session.

The revised law will come into force three months after the law is promulgated.

Under the law, those who phish, an act of collecting private information using deception through an information network, will face up to three years imprisonment and a fine of up to 30 million won.

Those who are caught sending spam mail promoting illegal activities such as selling of drugs or obscene material will face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to 10 million won.

With tougher punishments in place, the number of phishing cases is expected to decline significantly. So far, only senders of spam mail have been slapped with administrative punishments, such as a negligence fine.

Sang-Rok Lee myzodan@donga.com