Verizon Wireless has won a legal case against a SMS spammer who sent out 100,000 messages via its network.
Specialized Programming and Marketing, and its owner Charles Henderson, were accused of sending 100,000 text messages to Verizon subscribers offering a prize of a cruise in the Bahamas on behalf of Passport Holidays.
Verizon promptly sued under the US Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and the fine imposed will be not less than US$200,000, currently AUD$254,175.
"Misguided companies may be tempted to exploit modern technology in an attempt to get marketing messages in front of their potential audience, but spamming mobile phones is not acceptable," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"SMS spam is a tiny problem compared to conventional email spam, but it is growing. Users should report SMS abuse to their network providers and think carefully before acting on unsolicited text messages."
Verizon has also enforced an order that Specialized Programming and Marketing will be permanently barred from its network and customers.
The marketing firm has also paid an additional sum of US$10,000 to Verizon, which has been donated to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Verizon has been taking an active role in taking on spammers who attack its customers. The company fought a similar case in 2005 over another holiday company which used its network to send out 98,000 SMS spam messages.
"We have a long track record of protecting our customers' privacy, including through lawsuits, and will continue to do so," said Steve Zipperstein, vice president of legal and external affairs at Verizon Wireless.
"Text messaging is a great and increasingly popular way to communicate, but unwanted or unsolicited text message spam to our customers' handsets is unacceptable."
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