Spam Capital Of the World: Hong KongWritten by Sue Walsh on September 14, 2009
A new report has named Hong Kong the spam capital of the world. There are around 4,000 zombie computers located there and 93.4 percent of emails sent to Hong Kong users were spam; more than any other country in the world.
“Nowhere is quite like Hong Kong. Location, history and inherent character combine to give it a special identity that sets it apart from anywhere else in the world,” says Internet data analyst Dan Bleaken. Bleaken believes the city’s status as a financial and commercial hub makes it a lucrative target for spammers. “According to some estimates, spam-related activities cost Hong Kong 770 million dollars (5.5 billion HK dollars) in 2001, for example,” he said.
The Hong Kong government is trying to fight back. The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance, passed in 2007, requires companies to provide a way to unsubscribe that requires no further correspondence, and also requires that they provide their name, phone number, email address, and postal address in all messages. Fines of up to $128,000 U.S will be handed out to those who don’t comply.
Hong Kong’s Office of the Telecommunications Authority said they have received over 13,000 complaints and sent out 89 warnings. However they stress that for the problem to be truly addressed requires countries to work together to fight spammer and cybergangs as cybercrime is a worldwide epidemic. The country’s proximity to China, a known haven for spammers, is considered a direct cause of their increasing spam issues.