China threatens to block junk e-mailers

After months of investigation, the government cracks down on spammers worldwide and warns them to clean up their act.

The Chinese government is taking a strong stance on spam, giving senders of unsolicited e-mail an ultimatum to clean up their act or face digital exile.

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Following months of investigations, mainland authorities have identified and blacklisted 656 spam servers worldwide, according to the Chinese news service Xinhua. The majority of these are hosted outside Asia, but the list includes 65 servers in Taiwan, six in Hong Kong and 63 within China itself.

The report said that these blacklisted servers will be closely monitored by an IT association in the country--the Internet Society of China--and that they will be blocked if they continue to send junk e-mails to mainland users after March 20.

This is not the first time Chinese authorities have moved to stop the spam plague. According to the report, China banned 127 e-mail servers last year for sending unsolicited mail.

Zen Lee of CNETAsia reported from Singapore.