Anti-spam organisation Spamhaus is taking its crusade to China following an invitation from the Chinese government.
After the US, more spam is sent from China than any other country, and Spamhaus hopes to persuade the Chinese authorities to implement effective anti-spam legislation and technologies.
A team of Chinese volunteers will monitor spammers and report back to the UK-based group.
Steve Linford, founder of Spamhaus, told vnunet.com: "Eight out of ten spammers - most of whom are from the US - have websites hosted in China now, which means the problem of spam going through the country is getting worse."
Linford said spammers are so clever at hiding themselves that the majority of Chinese internet service providers (ISPs) are unaware of them.
But by showing what methods are used by spammers, Linford hopes to convince the authorities to begin a clampdown.
"The spammers use all sorts of tricks. They tend to firewall their sites so the Chinese ISPs don't see what is going on. The firewalls can either block the ISPs or send them to sites that look innocent," he said.
Chinese ISPs do not make money from spam going through their networks. "The ISPs only get paid the going rate for hosting the website," Linford explained.
"The spammers pay a Chinese national around $300 a month; these people then pay an ISP around $3 a month to host a website. Because there are so many Chinese ISPs the sites are closed down and new ones reopened all the time."
Linford hopes to persuade Chinese operators to adopt the best acceptable user policies prohibiting spamming that are used by ISPs elsewhere in the world.
Because of language barriers and policy blocking access to foreign websites many Chinese are unable to access the lead Spamhaus site, so the organisation has set up a Chinese language version.
"Many Chinese can't access the ordinary Spamhaus site because we are censored by a lot of the country's networks. It also makes it more personal for the Chinese," said Linford.
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