Dealing with text and phone spammers.
The good news: two text spammers to be fined. Probably wholly inadequate, but better than nothing, especially in terms of sending a message.
The bad news: this is such a rare event as to be newsworthy!
I’ve long wanted to propose a better system. Give me a single button I can press on my phone to flag an incoming call or message as spam. If I hit the button then the caller is charged for it: say, £1 per call. To be operated by the telcos, in much the same way as their regular call charges. A truly effective way for spam victims to convey our response to the spammers, as the £1s mount up. Or if the spammers are right and most people don’t mind, then they’ve nothing to worry about.
Of course we need some basic safeguards against malicious (or accidental) use of the £1 button. A threshold to pass before any charges are incurred. And there should be no perverse incentives: I don’t get the money, neither do the telcos (though they might take a small administrative charge, to be determined by the regulator). Any proceeds go to charity (not that there’ll be any: it’s a deterrent)!
It’ll also need some minor barriers to technological workaround: a cost to getting millions of phone numbers and keeping the number of spam messages per number below the threshold, including setting up a telco specifically to create such numbers.
Given that it’s the party conference season, who will offer us an effective protection against these spammers?