Will China Really Go After Spammers?

from the will-it-matter? dept

For quite some time, it’s been known that many spammers use Chinese servers to send out spam. The Chinese government hadn’t paid much attention to spam, preferring to do more important things online like blocking out Google. However, after realizing that (uh oh) political activists might start using spam to get their message out, they announced plans earlier this year to crack down on spam. It looks like it took them a few months to realize it wasn’t as easy as they’ve expected, so they’ve now agreed to work with foreign anti-spam firms to try to tackle the problem. These anti-spam firms are excited about this, because they think with some cooperation from the Chinese government and Chinese ISPs they’ll be able to do a lot more in stopping spam coming from China. Of course, it won’t be long until spammers move on to some other country (or to various zombie systems). Still, for all the talk about how China is now interested in stopping spam, it is worth remembering that the only reason they got interested originally was to block political speech. So, is it really a coincidence that Symantec’s anti-virus software is suddenly deciding that a program to route around Chinese government censorship is a trojan that should be blocked? It makes you wonder what kind of deal these security firms struck with the Chinese government.

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