A major Internet service provider yesterday said it would offer new e-mail addresses to its 40,000 subscribers because of a glitch that allowed their addresses to be leaked to junk-mailers. York Mo Shiu-wah, deputy managing director of HKNet, said it would also apologise for the blunder. The problem came to light after democracy activist Lau Shan-ching, one of the subscribers, filed a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner yesterday after he discovered the flaw in the HKNet system, which allowed anyone to view the e-mail address of subscribers. He said the loophole had been exploited by junk-mailers who bombard subscribers daily with e-mail loans promotions, get-rich-quick schemes and pornographic Web sites. Mr Lau and some members of the Social Democratic Forum had expressed concern over the incident, saying the leak of personal information had done 'irreparable damage' to subscribers' privacy. A spokeswoman for the Privacy Commissioner said the office had received the complaint and was looking into it. HKNet had strengthened its net security after learning of the incident, Mr Mo said. He said the company, established in 1994, would replace the old programme with a new one next month.