CTIA, the wireless association, today announced the Secure Messaging Initiative (SMI), a new program to help stop unwanted or illegal text messaging spam. The SMI includes a central clearinghouse that providers and government agencies will use to share suspected spam messages and techniques, in order to more rapidly and effectively shut down spam activity and target the senders of unwanted or fraudulent messages.
“Texting is one of the most trusted and widely used forms of communication thanks to the wireless industry’s longstanding commitment to protecting consumers against spam,” said CTIA President and CEO Meredith Attwell Baker. “The Secure Messaging Initiative builds on this commitment by creating a centralized clearinghouse for information about spam, spammers, and industry best practices – empowering the industry and government agencies with the information they need to help stop unwanted messaging.”
The SMI includes a collaborative, multi-stakeholder clearinghouse that provides a venue for increased partnership within industry and with Federal and State government agencies charged with investigatory and enforcement functions. Providers will report suspected spam messaging and activity to the clearinghouse, allowing other providers and government agencies to take action. Participants of the SMI will also share best practices and other information that can be used to further refine spam mitigation efforts.
To support the SMI, CTIA is releasing new best practices that are the culmination of significant industry technical review and research. Industry stakeholders assessed the leading sources of unwanted messaging in the ecosystem and identified best practices to address them. They leverage standards-based, technical frameworks, cybersecurity approaches, and leading solutions aimed at helping stop bad actors at the source, mitigating messaging security threats, and protecting consumers across the ecosystem.
These initiatives complement other industry efforts to maintain and protect the messaging platform. Providers use a variety of tools, including spam filters, algorithms and blocking techniques, that help identify unwanted, illegal or harmful messages. These approaches follow the industry’s Messaging Principles and Best Practices, which offer guidance on how providers can help protect consumers against unwanted texting, encouraging them to gather information about the sender and their campaign using registration, pre-approval and monitoring processes that enhance transparency and discourage bad actors.
Consumers can also help with these efforts by forwarding spam text messages to 7726 (SPAM) or reporting them to security apps or government agencies like the FTC, FCC or to their state Attorney General. Visit CTIA’s new Consumer Resource page and Messaging Channel to learn more.