Verizon sues SMS spammers

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Aug 18, 2004

Despite there currently being no US laws regarding SMS spam.

US mobile provider Verizon Wireless has filed a lawsuit against 51 individuals who, it alleges, sent over 4.7 million unsolicited commercial SMS messages to its subscribers.

Verizon claims that the defendants sent unsolicited SMS advertisements (featuring the usual roll call of products: Ephedra, mortgages, sexual enhancement pills, and so on) to its subscribers and is seeking both damages and an injunction against the defendants.

Before filing its suit Verizon first had to overcome the small hurdle of there currently being no US laws regarding SMS spam. Although the Federal Communications Commission was instructed by the CAN-SPAM Act to create laws to protect users against unwanted messages on mobile devices, the laws will not be in place until September 2004. As a result, Verizon has had to resort to filing its suit under the somewhat antiquated 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), on the grounds that the software used for SMS spamming can be considered an (illegal) 'automatic telephone dialling system'.

Posted on 18 August 2004 by Virus Bulletin




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