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Spam Warning Issued

Servers responsible for sending spam mail throughout China will be cut off if they continue to harass computer users, the Internet Society of China warned on Friday.

"If they refuse to behave themselves, we will take stricter measures and even refuse to connect them," said Huang Chengqing, the society's deputy secretary-general.

The society has already blacklisted 225 servers responsible for spam -- the common term for Internet junk mail -- on its www.isc.org website. Most of the servers are based overseas.

Huang said his society will regularly update the website list in an effort to stop the attacks on Internet users.

He said China's Internet users are increasingly finding that the majority of their e-mails are no longer personal -- an average of 8.9 e-mails out of the 16 they receive each week are spam.

Most of the spam comes from e-mail servers because of their default open relay function, which gives people the opportunity to use them as transfer stations to send unsolicited mail.

Spam jeopardizes the sound development of electronic mail services and the spread of the Internet, Huang said.

He urged more Internet service providers in China to join together to try and stamp out spam by getting involved with the society's coordinated group, which allows people to share information about technical solutions, to promote public involvement and extend international cooperation.

On Friday, together with the China Internet Network Information Center , the society released an official report on the country's Internet development.

It has mapped the nation's online community since 1994, when the concept first appeared in China.

According to the report, the number of Internet users in China hit 68 million at the end of June, the second highest in the world after the United States.

The latest statistics show the figure was only 8.9 million people by the end of 2000 and 620,000 people in 1997.

The report also included other authoritative data on the Chinese Internet industry, such as background information about Internet infrastructure construction, net equipment research and development, and Internet services and applications.

(China Daily August 9, 2003)

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