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Singapore Government Approves Anti-Spam Bill

Singapore's parliament passed a spam control law on Thursday April 12, 2007 with the aim to curb e-mail and mobile phone spams. The government thinks this would preserve the country's reputation as a reliable hub for cyber communications for companies and consumers. The legislation hopes to stop local spammers or individuals and groups who distribute bulk of unsolicited messages from abusing market operation.

There should be a focused effort to indicate the social non-acceptance of spamming, said Lee Boon Yang, minister for information, communications and the arts. Techmonstersandcritics published this on April 12, 2007.

In a study by the IDA (Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore) in November 2003, the institution found that spam mail distribution in Singapore caused users nearly $23m worth output loss. Further the three major ISPs (Internet Service Providers) received approximately 5,000 spam associated complaints, each per month, said Dr. Yang in the parliament. Channelnewsasia published this on April 12, 2007.

But, it is not likely that the anti-spam act will soon bring about an end to the spam woes of e-mail and mobile phone users. Rather these users will discover that a fair amount of responsibility to prevent inflow of junk e-mails rests with them.

The Bill has established primary requirements for legal electronic mass marketing. It also provides affected users with civil recourse if spam hits those having a Singapore connection.

During the Bill's second reading in parliament, Yang said that it mandates e-mail senders to provide opportunity for recipients to terminate or unsubscribe from the spam mail through the same channel by which it came. English published it on April 12, 2007.

MPs suggested that an opt-in contract would be better than an opt-out clause as that would require businesses to ensure that they send out only solicited e-mails.

MP Ho Geok Choo said the losers from this act would be the SMEs who follow the law, as after this they would no longer be able to use the Internet to promote their business via spam campaigns. On the other hand, as bulk of spam comes from overseas, foreign spammers would be the winners. Channelnewsasia published this, April 12, 2007.

Related article: Singapore Domain 10th Most Risky Domain Worldwide

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