Mobile Spam Overtakes Desktop Spam in Korea

Wow, I thought we had it bad here in the States! Apparently, mobile spam has actually overtaken desktop computer spam in South Korea. Now folks, this is where it gets weird.

Remember those auto-dialers from the ’80s? You know, they would call you during election time in order to encourage you to vote for this guy or that guy. Well, they are back in a digital form in South Korea and are a seperate component in the issue with mobiel spam in that region. Wild, huh?

The Korean Information Security agency says in the first 10 months of 2004, it received 244,151 complaints about unsolicited text messages and calls to mobile phones, compared to just 78,063 complaints about spam e-mail, seven times more than in 2003. A KISA official went on to tell The Korea Times that junk mail to phones now outnumbers e-mail spam, a trend that’s expected to continue.

Mobile spam in South Korea takes on two forms — the familiar unwanted text messages, but also automated voice calls. Blocking the unwanted voice calls can be problematic, as firms using them aren’t required to comply with users’ demands to be removed from their lists. There is pending legislation, however, that would outlaw all automated calls “that fail to obtain prior agreement” a move that hasn’t stopped too many e-mail spammers.