Ah China, always been famous for repressing their population, now there repression is moving onto the Internet and using digital means..
Just like the so called ‘Great Firewall of China’, I’ve been meaning to do an article about that for quite some time, I have something drafted.
Anyway the latest thing China has done has made it illegal to own a private e-mail server without a ‘licence’. I guess it could be said that it’s an effort to curb spam…but..
China has introduced regulations that make it illegal to run an email server without a licence. The new rules, which came into force two weeks ago, mean that most companies running their own email servers in China are now breaking the law.
More than 600,000 servers were sold in China last year, according to market researchers. It’s unclear how many of these are running mail server software, which includes programs like Microsoft Exchange Server, Sendmail, Qmail or Lotus Notes.
They are calling it part of the anti-spam effort..
The new email licensing clause is just a small part of a new anti-spam law formulated by China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII). The chilling effect on corporate email servers, which are commonly used by companies with more than a handful of employees, appears to have gone unnoticed until now.
However, Singapore-based technology consultant, James Seng, who first drew attention to the new email licence requirement, believes the inclusion of the prohibition on mail servers is no accident.
“Looking at the Chinese text, it is clear they have worded it carefully”, he told vnnet,”They know exactly what they are doing and what they want. So this isn’t a case of clueless civil servants screwing up or just bad translation.”
To be fair though spam originating from China has become a massive problem in the last 6-12 months, I’ve even noticed the amount of Chinese language spam increasing exponentially.
Under the new regulations, Email Service Providers must register their mail servers’ internet protocol (IP) addresses with authorities 20 days before they start operating the server. The must also keep a record of all emails sent and received for 60 days. The rules even prohibit open relays: mail servers which accept and relay email from any source without verification
The regulations also ban many of the techniques commonly used by spammers, such as hijacking servers to use as ‘zombie’ spam relays. In addition, advertisers sending unsolicited commercial mail also need to prefix the subject line with ‘Advertisement’ or ‘AD’, and comply with recipients’ requests to cease sending them unwanted email.
Perhaps in a way it might be a good thing?