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Published on March 8th, 2010 | by Babar Bhatti


How to Handle SMS Spam – A Review of Policies

Dealing with spam, unwanted calls and stalkers can be very stressful. Here’s some  information and links which can help you cope with this. While looking at this issue, we researched on the privacy policies of mobile companies operating in Pakistan. Out of 5 mobile network operators, we found 2 privacy policies which were posted online.

For your reference you can block the user following the guidelines presented in our prior posts about Call and SMS Blocking, here and here. Unfortunately getting rid of the problem is not always that straightforward. For example, see this TGP discussion in which one member’s number was used – spoofed would be a better choice of word – for sending unwanted SMS.

We thought its worthwhile to share excerpts from Telenor’s privacy policy:

SMS/MMS is a very useful means for persons/companies who wish to send information on their products/services quickly. Unfortunately it is also improperly used by some who send mass advertisements to people with whom they have no contractual relationship.

Spamming is the unsolicited dissemination of mass advertising/information via telecommunications. When mobile owners receive such SMS/MMS messages, it must be assumed that these messages are sent systematically via the internet to entire blocks of numbers.

What responsibility does Telenor bear?

Telenor is responsible for transporting information across its network and cannot monitor messages sent by private individuals or companies. Telenor only ensures that these messages are transported without being aware of their contents. Telenor cannot filter the SMS/MMS received by its customers because this would mean checking the content of the messages, therefore violating the confidentiality of telecommunications.

Telecommunication companies are not in a position to monitor and prohibit the transmission of unsolicited messages because they cannot know if a commercial relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of the advertising message. They are only aware of spamming after complaints are received from customers, whose responsibility it is first and foremost to take action against the spammers. Depending on where the spam has come from and following unsuccessful interventions by customers against spammers, the companies can then intervene with the spammer to demand that they stop this practice, and if the offence is repeated, the spammer can be prohibited access to the network. Unfortunately this is not possible in every case.

What can You do if spamming continues?

Please contact Customer Care in writing, including all the details of the SMS/MMS message(s) including the number of origin of message, content of the message, date and time of receipt etc. Unfortunately, Telenor cannot guarantee that you will not receive messages of this sort in future, since anyone who has access to the mobile network can send advertising SMS/MMS messages without Telenor being able to monitor this.

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2 Responses to How to Handle SMS Spam – A Review of Policies

  1. daddoo says:

    just my input.. if you own a Series 60 (Nokia) or Windows Mobile phone… you can simply run an application in the background to avoid such activity. It can filter/maintain a blacklist for blocking all text/voice calls aswell.

    i’m sure there would be something of this sort on iPhone aswell.

  2. Pingback: How to Handle SMS Spam – A Review of Policies | State of Telecom … | Pro in Telecto

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