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MAJOR UK MOBILE OPERATORS AND THE ICO LAUNCH CONSUMER SPAM REPORTING SERVICE TO PROTECT MOBILE CUSTOMERS

March 20, 2014

Press Release

UK Mobile Users Able to Report Unsolicited Text Messages to ‘7726’ or ‘SPAM’

London: The GSMA today announced that EE, O2, Three, Vodafone together with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), are working together to tackle nuisance text messages by using the GSMA’s Spam Reporting Service. The service, powered by Cloudmark Inc., provides a worldwide clearinghouse of messaging threats and misuse. It enables operators to analyse spam attack patterns, identify the sources of attacks and shut down the sources as a result.

“Increasing numbers of consumers are victims of spam and mobile network operators are working hard defending against these threats,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “The GSMA Spam Reporting Service provides operators with a tool to measure the extent of fraud and phishing and provides the insight needed to address sophisticated messaging threats that could harm users. By working closely with the ICO, the UK’s operators are making it more difficult for spammers and fraudsters to target mobile phone users in this country.”

“The real-time information about spam attacks we are now receiving from the UK operators is helping us to quickly identify breaches in the Privacy of Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR), track down perpetrators and issue monetary penalties against them,” said Steve Eckersley, Head of Enforcement, ICO.

Through the GSMA’s Spam Reporting Service, UK mobile phone users are able to report nuisance text messages through  a free-of-charge short code: ‘7726’ or ‘SPAM’. These are aggregated, and analysed, providing operators with important details about the origin and size of the attack. The service allows operators to share intelligence in real time to ensure that an attack detected on one network can be quickly isolated and prevented on others. Armed with this insight, mobile operators can block and cut off the senders of spam. As a next step, EE, O2, Three, Vodafone and the ICO are investigating ways to extend the Spam Reporting Service to address nuisance calls.

-ENDS-

About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.

Media Contacts:
For the GSMA
Charlie Meredith-Hardy
+44 7917 298428
CMeredith-Hardy@webershandwick.com

GSMA Press Office
pressoffice@gsma.com

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