Gangs of spammers are moving to Britain to exploit a legal loophole that allows them to bombard e-mail in-boxes with impunity, anti-spam experts warned yesterday. \nCampaigners have claimed the gangs are moving from countries such as Italy, where they face severe financial penalties or prison, to Britain, where the most they can expect is a five-thousand-pound fine. No spam operator has been fined in the UK, and the gangs see the country as a soft touch. \nUnsolicited junk mail accounts for more than 70 percent of all e-mail. Industry experts predict this will increase to 80 percent by the end of the year and to 90 percent by next summer. \nThe anti-spam organization Spamhaus claims that UK legislation introduced last December, allowing unsolicited e-mails to be sent to business addresses but not to personal ones, has been seen by spammers as giving them free rein to interpret the law as it suits them and to spam anyone they like. \nSteve Linford, Spamhaus's founder, said the law was full of "gigantic loopholes" and its punitive measures are derisory. \nBritain, he warned, was on course to become one of the world's fastest-growing sources of spam and was already 10th in the table of the worst spamming countries. \nLinford said at least one major Italian spam gang had moved its operations to Britain because spammers can receive up to three years in prison in Italy simply for sending unsolicited mail. When Spamhaus exposed its practices, the gang tried to mount a campaign against it, sending fake e-mails purporting to have come from the group. \nLinford regularly receives death threats from spam gangs because of his campaign. He said: "We get all sorts of threats from the American spammers, from `We are coming to shoot you' to `The next package you open will blow you out of the country.'" \nOne death threat said: "You are a dead man. As God is my witness you will die soon horrid [sic] violent death [sic]." \nBritish e-mail marketing companies have not resorted to such extreme measures. Instead, they are using the loopholes to threaten Spamhaus with potentially devastating legal action if it continues to name them as spammers and to block their mass mails targeted at business addresses. \nSpam, according to British legislation, is "unsolicited e-mail sent without the consent of the addressee and without any attempt at targeting recipients who are likely to be interested in its contents." The law bans only the spamming of private e-mail addresses. \nThe law, say campaigners, allows spammers to claim their e-mails are intended to go only to business addresses when they go to all and sundry. \nIn the UK a fine faces those who spam private addresses and fail to stop doing so if a complaint is made. \nBut a fine has never been handed down and, according to insiders, is unlikely to be because no extra funds or staff to deal with the problem were put in place. \n"This comes as quite a surprise to us, because any normal person and any British business who is inundated with spam is fed up with the stuff. More and more UK spammers are starting up because they are seeing that there's no action against spammers," he said. \nOthers are simply frauds. A major concern now is the expansion of Russian gangs, who offer to attack other businesses computers by sending viruses. \n"Russian spam gangs are now a big problem on the internet," said Linford. "These gangs will attack computer networks around the world for you, and that is a much more serious form of spamming. \n"American spammers tend to be con-men and fraudsters -- and we see them operating in partnership with British spammers -- but the Russians are much more hardcore. There is a level of criminality that they employ that is worrying. And British law allows them to come and do it in the UK."
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and