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Insights Insights
| 1 minute read

Spam Texts Under Fire at FCC

Having taken steps against robocalls in 2021, the FCC is now going after robotexts. (I can hear you saying "FINALLY!")  Ironically, the FCC's action against robocalls may have contributed to the flood of spam texts we now face: by closing one door, the FCC unwittingly encouraged the flinging open of another.  

Why It Matters

Most of the time, spam is an annoyance. We get it, we block it, we move on with our day. Because of the constant flood of spam and behavioral engineering (phishing) emails and texts we all receive every day, however, it is extremely easy to mistake a spam message for a legitimate one, or to simply "fat finger" an unintended response, and find yourself fighting against a threat actor who now has the ability to get into financial, email, wireless, and other accounts and wreak havoc. I speak with individuals all the time who have experienced some form of intrusion and identity theft that stems from spam messages they mistakenly responded to; the personal toll is not small for those people. Anything that can be done to reduce the number of incoming fraudulent messages -- and thus reduce the likelihood of accidentally engaging with one -- is a welcome step.  

The boom in robotexts can be tied in part to an increased crackdown on robocalls. In 2021, an FCC mandate went into effect requiring carriers to implement a suite of caller ID authentication protocols known as STIR/SHAKEN. The mandate has had moderate successes, according to industry analysts. Scammers were quick to pivot, however. Consumer watchdog nonprofit U.S. PIRG found that spam texts surged after the rule went into place.


data security and privacy, hill_mitzi, insights