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South Korea enacted its first antispam law in 1999 and has added new provisions and strengthened others every year since.

Last month, the South Korean government fined six Web sites for flooding Internet users with spam e-mails, including a site called Korea.com. The fines were between $3,400 and $4,300.

Some groups oppose antispam legislation, arguing that it would be ineffective.

Legal analysts also say U.S. legislators will have a harder time enacting antispam laws than their South Korean counterparts. That’s because opponents of spam-restricting laws are expected to argue that they violate free-speech protections. South Korea has no law comparable to the First Amendment.

Mr. Hengesbaugh cautioned that the one-month decline in spam in South Korea does not prove legislation will work.

He suggested there may be other reasons for the decline, such as increasing effectiveness of spam filters. South Korea encourages the use of filters and has helped distribute filtering CDs through a nonprofit group called the “National Movement for a Clean Internet.”

The FTC, which would enforce any antispam laws, declined to comment on the South Korean report.

On Aug. 19, FTC Chairman Timothy Muris criticized spam legislation during a summit held by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a free-market think tank.

“In the end, legislation cannot do much to solve the spam problem, because it can only make a limited contribution to the crucial problems of anonymity and cost shifting,” Mr. Muris said. “Some of the proposed legislation, unfortunately, could be harmful or, at best, useless.”

The Direct Marketing Association and many Internet-service providers supported some form of spam legislation, but have pushed harder for more prosecutorial staff at the FTC, industry self-policing and improvements in spam-filtering technology.