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SCIT speaks on spamming

Following is the transcript (English portion) of remarks by the Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology (SCIT), Mr John Tsang, to the media after addressing a luncheon organised by six information and communications technology organisations today (February 24):

Reporter: Given that most spammers are almost always one step ahead of technologies, what is the use of enacting legislation against spamming when it could actually affect local businesses and it would not even touch 95% of the spamming that comes in anyway. And the second question is for the blacklist. As you said inside, the blacklist does not even really work 100% of time and there are ways to get around it. So what is the point of coming up with a blacklist?

SCIT: But I do not think that you are suggesting that we do not do anything. So I think there are certain measures that we must take to be proactive. I think doing nothing is not the solution at all, so that is why we need to take some proactive action in dealing with the issue.

Reporter: What would be the effect on, as you said, legitimate e-commerce businesses?

SCIT: We have to take a look at that. Because for a lot of the legitimate businesses, we need to make sure that what we are doing will not affect their businesses adversely. So we need to find a balance.

Reporter: ... 95% of the spamming are from overseas and you mention about the MoU with international bodies. How does that help?

SCIT: There are currently a number of international organisations that are dealing with spamming together as a group, including APEC, OECD and ITU. We will be continuing to work with them, so that we can work out ways that we can sort of mutually reinforce our law in each other's jurisdiction. Coming up we will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding of Asia-Pacific countries that want to deal with the spam problem together in the Asia-Pacific Region. That would help a great deal because most of our spams are not generated from local sources but from overseas, actually 95% of them. So that we will be able to deal with them, working with other jurisdictions together.

Reporter: When will you be signing that?

SCIT: We should be signing that in matter of weeks. We will be giving you more notifications.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript)

Thursday, February 24, 2005