Arizona Court Says Fifteen Year Old Autodialer Law Applies To Mobile Spam

from the making-the-laws-fit-the-tech dept

We’ve seen similar cases before, where new technologies create a new problem — but older laws are interpreted to extend to them. In some cases it makes sense, but in plenty of others it doesn’t. One area where it’s often been applied more wisely is in situations concerning spam — since the intention of previous laws banning things like autodialers and fax spam is pretty clear, and it’s easy to see how they would apply to other forms of unsolicited, intrusive advertising. So, it isn’t surprising to find an Arizona court has said that text messaging spam is illegal under a 1991 law banning “autodialers” in the state. The spammer claimed that the company was exempt from those laws because it didn’t “call” the end user. However, the court rightly found that phone text messages can be seen as the equivalent of a call under these conditions. Of course, this makes you wonder if the feds can claim that mobile spammers are breaking the rules of the federal “Do Not Call” list?

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