The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is taking SMS-spammers to court, the first time it has taken court action against mobile text spammers. The companies charged are based in Hong Kong — Mobilegate Limited, Winning Bid Pty Ltd, Jobspy Ltd and also associated individuals — and promoted services like “Safe Divert” (a relay message service), “Maybemeet”, and a fantasy chat services known as Singles Club, AU Singles, or Australian Singles Online. It’s free to receive text messages in Australia, but anyone responding to the messages was charged at $5 a message. The ACMA is going after the companies with the Spam Act 2003 and the Trade Practices Act 1974, the latter for misleading or deceptive representations reports ITWire.
This comes just after AT&T (NYSE: T) was criticized for text-spamming its customers with American Idol messages — NYT reports that the telco is now claiming messages were sent to 2 million people, or 3 percent of its customer base. It previously said that messages had been sent to a “significant number” of its customers…I suppose technically a single customers could be considered “significant”, but it’s really removing any meaning from the word in this context. It also said the messages couldn’t be classified as spam because they were free to receive — which is a change in the definition of spam. Mind you, I also have to take issue with the CIO for Spamhaus saying: “People who received it didn