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[[email protected]] Italian Government Orders Mobile Operators To Send SMS Spam

  • From: Mally Mclane < >
  • Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 11:50:21 +0100

Chi parla? Italian gov spams entire country with SMS election call
By John Oates
Published Monday 14th June 2004 10:47 GMT
The Italian government is in hot water this morning after spamming
every single mobile subscriber in Italy with election information.

Silvio Berlusconi's government recently passed laws to jail spammers
and file sharers but obviously excuses itself from the new
regulations. Consumer groups including Federconsumatori condemned the
mass SMS.

Mobile operators were ordered to send the message to all their subscribers.

The messages were received on Thursday or Friday of last week and
appeared to come from Berlusconi's office. It detailed when polling
stations were open and what documents you needed to take along to vote
in the regional and European elections. But opposition politicians
complained the messages were an invasion of privacy and political in

As one irritated Italian mobile subscriber and Register reader pointed
out: "Many the cell phone owners were not even eligible to vote, being
either minors or immigrants without citizenship.

"The message itself was an invitation to vote, but the law explicitly
forbids any such a message from being sent for anything but extreme
danger situations, particularly during the compulsory "silence period"
before and during the elections..."

It is believed the Italian government used emergency legislation,
"decreto legislativo", to authorise the mass spam.

Anyone caught downloading music, or other copyrighted material, in
Italy now faces up to three years in prison. Spam legislation in Italy
lays down fines of up to €90,000 and jail time for anyone sending
unsolicited messages. ®

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