US senators seek to squash spam

April 3, 2009
A teenager uses a phone to send a text message. Two US senators declared war on spam on Thursday. Senator Olympia Snowe, a Republican from Maine, and Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, introduced legislation aimed at curbing unsolicited text messages on mobile devices.

Two US senators declared war on spam on Thursday. Senator Olympia Snowe, a Republican from Maine, and Senator Bill Nelson, a Democrat from Florida, introduced legislation aimed at curbing unsolicited text messages on mobile devices.

The m-SPAM Act of 2009 is intended to crack down on what the senators described as a "growing nuisance for millions of wireless customers."

"Mobile invades both a consumer?s cell phone and monthly bill," Snowe said in a statement.

"There is also increasing concern that mobile spam will become more than just an annoyance," she said, citing the danger of "viruses and malicious spyware."

"This significant and looming threat must be addressed in order to protect consumers and vital wireless services," Snowe said.

"Spam e-mail is bad enough," said Nelson. "Now, we are seeing a proliferation of unwanted text messages -- and consumers are getting stuck paying."

The legislation would tighten existing laws and prohibit commercial text messages being sent to wireless numbers listed on the Do-Not-Call registry, a list of subscribers who have indicated they do not want to receive unsolicited calls from vendors.

According to figures cited by the senators, US wireless users received more than 1.1 million spam text messages in 2007, up 38 percent from 2006.

Some wireless subscribers have to pay to send and receive text messages with some plans charging as much as 20 cents per message.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Firm develops way to fight pictoral spam

Related Stories

Image spam grows to 20 percent of spam

July 24, 2006

E-mail spam that relies on images to make it difficult to filter now encompasses 21 percent of all spam, said IronPort Systems, a San Bruno, Calif., company.

Cell phone spam widespread in China

November 27, 2006

A China Internet Society study has suggested 6.25 percent of cell phone users in the country receive spam text messages more than 40 times a week.

Recommended for you

Facebook ready to test giant drone for Internet service

July 30, 2015

Facebook says it will begin test flights later this year for a solar-powered drone with a wingspan as big as a Boeing 737, in the next stage of its campaign to deliver Internet connectivity to remote parts of the world.

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_Kob
not rated yet Apr 03, 2009
I think thats a bit bs to have to pay to receive messages. What would happen if you were sent 500 at a go?
JerryPark
5 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2009
"The legislation would tighten existing laws and prohibit commercial text messages being sent to wireless numbers listed on the Do-Not-Call registry ..."

The do not call registry doesn't prevent unwanted calls. How is it supposed to prevent unwanted text messages?

Why not stop the "opt out" systems like "do not call" and simply make unsolicited contact, whether that contact is voice or text, illegal and attach a significant fine per violation?
shyataroo
not rated yet Apr 05, 2009
I beleive that there should be no charges in reciving text messages period. There could be a larger fine in sending them to compensate.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.