Spammers face fines, long jail terms in Hong Kong

Hong Kong spammers will face big fines and a long jail terms under a new law to control unsolicited advertising, officials, quoted by an AFP report said.

The AFP report said a new ordinance in the southern Chinese city will regulate all messages sent by electronic means that advertise or promote goods or services, including faxes, emails, SMS text and pre-recorded voice messages.

Violators could be fined up to HK$1 million ($128,000) and face up to five years in jail, the report said.

The AFP report also quoted deputy secretary for commerce, industry and technology Marion Lai as saying that the ordinance will be implemented in two phases, with the first phase coming into effect this week.

The measure bans messages to addresses obtained through a 'dictionary' or 'brute force' attacks, which automatically generate possible recipients, or through software which searches the Internet for addresses, the report said.

Those who hack into computers to send commercial messages will face up to 10 years imprisonment, she said.