Verizon Wireless today announced it was granted a permanent, legal injunction against Rhode Island resident Jacob Brown, a known â€˜spammer’ who knowingly executed a systematic spam attack on wirelessphones owned by Verizon Wireless customers. United States District Judge in Trenton, New Jersey Mary L. Cooper permanently enjoined Jacob Brown from sending further spam to Verizon Wirelesscustomers.
Brown and his cohorts distributed unsolicited short text messages (also referred to as â€˜spam’) offering mortgage loans and directing individuals to adult Web sites. Additionally, these individuals â€˜spoofed’ and disguised themselves by using IP addresses of innocent persons to distribute messages, creating identification protection for the guilty and an undercurrent of insecurity for innocent people. The company, which has long championed a customer’s right to privacy and â€˜spam-free’ wireless environment, believed legal action was necessary to deter future wireless phone â€˜attacks’ that force customers to pay for unsolicited commercial spam messages each time one reaches their phone.
The action taken against Jacob Brown is the latest of many legal filings by Verizon Wireless against wireless â€˜spammers.’ Last year, for example, Verizon Wireless filed two suits against wireless spammers in federal court in Georgia — which were disseminating repeated, unsolicited, text messages to Verizon Wireless customers — and succeeded in stopping those spam attacks. These are believed to be some of the only legal actions taken in the nation against wireless spammers.
Within the last year, Verizon Wireless differentiated itself from its carrier competitors by making the independent decision not to participate in a wireless phone directory because, among other reasons, the company feels that it too would undermine customer privacy. At the Wireless Leadership Summit held by The Yankee Group in New York, Verizon Wireless’ President and CEO, Denny Strigl, championed Verizon Wireless’ â€˜customers first’ stance on several issues, including the preservation of wireless customers’ privacy and control over their bills and unwanted or unexpected calls saying, â€œToday, wireless users view cell phones as one place they don’t face intrusions from telemarketers and other unwanted, unsolicited calls and messages. As an industry, we [wireless carriers] should be proud of our strong record to proactively preserve customers’ privacy in an intrusive world. Why would we want to tear down a wall of privacy that we spent two decades fortifying?â€
The injunction against Jacob Brown should help to deter â€˜spammers’ and further protect wireless device users from unwanted communication.