Nearly 1,000 firms on cyber crime list

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Nearly 1,000 firms on cyber crime list

Internet shopping malls were the biggest culprits in sending unwanted commercial mail or infringing on privacy last year, according to data released yesterday by the Ministry of Information and Communication. In 2002, the ministry took legal action against 977 companies for either sending spam mail or violating online privacy. The figure is 15 times higher than the 66 companies charged in 2001, the ministry said. The companies were either fined or ordered to clean up their acts. Of the 977 companies, 815 were spam mailers and the other 162 firms were privacy violators. Of the 815 companies punished for sending unwanted soliciting mail, 593 were online shopping malls. Computer and English education private institutions followed with 52 companies, and adult sites came next with 48 firms. Slightly more than 100 Internet shopping malls were either fined or ordered to cease for invading online privacy. Sixty-three companies did not notify users that the firms were collecting personal information. The explosive growth in the number of spammers is attributable to the ministry's stricter supervision of Internet sites that collect personal information and utilize it by the nature of their businesses, the ministry said. Among offline businesses, six companies including airliners, travel agencies and hotels were punished for sending unsolicited mail. by Kim Hyo-jin

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