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SMS Spamkiller Is On The Way!

Over nine-tenths of everything online is unwanted gibberish, and we’re not talking about the endless torrent of witless Facebook updates or fans pointing out exactly how much last night’s episode of anything sucked. We mean unwanted, automated spam messages swamping the internet like a rising tide of digital scum – and now it’s leaking across to your phone. At least an e-mail can be clicked away while you’re sitting at your desk, whereas an SMS spam message is more annoying than being tapped on the shoulder with a meat cleaver – you have to drop whatever you’re doing.

However, the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) is fighting back. Partnering with messaging security software house Cloudmark, they’ve tested a tagging system for spam. Simply forward any unwanted messages to 7726 – “SPAM” on the text keypad – and it’ll be added to a database of spam messages, enabling Cloudmark to identify and filter ALL such messages from every phone. It’s the phone equivalent of the “Report Spam” button on your e-mail account. Our e-mail filters have already become so sophisticated some could now run for council positions (and with their “get rid of the stupid pointless things and leave everything else alone” policy, could probably do a better job than most elected officials).

The test ran across multiple mobile operators last December and was apparently a success. Those wondering why operators would agree to cut the volume of messages sent (they get paid for each one, after all) can trust the wonderful world of market forces. If their competitors offer filters, they have to. And – even better – they can still charge the scumbags who sent the filtered messages from behind the wonderful legal shield of “Terms & Conditions.” That’s how annoying spam is – fourteen pages of unreadable legalese becomes the good guy.

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