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Title STAMPING OUT MASS TEXT MESSAGES IN DDAETDABANG-STYLE
Date 2024-04-01 Read 8794
KCC establishes voluntary operation guidelines for mass text message transmission qualification certification system
Expected reduction in lure text messages such as phishing... anticipating a decrease in economic losses to citizens


The Korea Communications Commission (KCC, Chairman Kim Hong-il) is set to take decisive steps to eradicate illegal spam messages and has announced the enactment of the Voluntary Operation Guidelines for the Mass Text Message Transmission Operator Qualification Certification System.

The transmission qualification certification system refers to a system where text message resellers that provide mass text transmission services (web-originated messages) over the internet must obtain qualification certification from text message relay service providers before they transmit text messages.
※ Special Value-Added Telecommunications Business Operators: A total of 1,175 entities, including text message relay service providers (nine companies*) and text message resellers, etc.
* Business operators, which connected the Internet network to three major telecom companies, including KT, LGU+, SKB, Daou Technology, Infobank, Gemtec, etc.

Bulk text transmission services still account for a large proportion (83.1%) of text message transmissions*, and illegally transmitted spam messages sent through these services are becoming increasingly sophisticated, leading to fraud cases, such as malicious links, and developing into threats to public safety.
* 2023 First Half Spam Messages Distribution Report: Based on domestic transmission by route for mobile spam messages

However, the economic benefits of operating these services outweigh the fines imposed on businesses caught engaging in illegal activities, so the number of special value-added telecommunications business operators continues to increase.

In response, the KCC came up with the Self-Regulatory Guidelines for Transmission Qualification Certification of Mass Text Transmission Business Operators through collaboration with the Ministry of Science and ICT, mobile carriers, the Enterprise Messaging Business Association (text relay service providers), and the Special Messaging Operator Association (text resellers) taken place since last November.

Under these guidelines, text relay service providers verify new text resellers' qualifications for text transmission by checking whether the application information matches (representative, office space, etc.); whether they have a text transmission system in place; and whether an originating sender identification code is inserted before entering into a contract. This is a self-regulatory system that reinforces operation responsibility between text relay providers and resellers.

For efficient and effective implementation of the system, text relay service providers outsource the certification work to an operating agency (KCUP*), and text resellers apply for the qualification certification to this agency, which reviews their qualifications and issues a certificate.
* The nine text relay service providers jointly outsourced the certification work to the Korea Communication User Protect Association (KCUP).

Text resellers without the qualification certification cannot operate text transmission services, and existing resellers must obtain the certification within six months of the guidelines going into effect. Even certified text resellers found to have transmitted illegal spam messages will be subject to sanctions (transmission suspension, etc.) and unable to operate text transmission services.

After preparations, including business agreements (MOU) between mobile carriers, text relay service providers, and the operating agency, explanatory sessions (education and promotion) for special value-added telecommunications business operators, and the establishment of the certification system, the guidelines will be formally implemented starting June 2024.

The KCC stated that with these guidelines, they expect to "establish a self-regulatory rapid response system to prevent illegal spam message transmission and promote a healthy text messaging market," leading to "reduced phishing and lure text transmissions, thereby minimizing economic damages to the public from such threats to public safety."


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The Korea Communications Commission
File 240327 (보도자료_보고 가) “대량문자 전송 떴다방 사라진다”.hwpx 240327 (보도자료_보고 가) “대량문자 전송 떴다방 사라진다”.hwpx
20240327_News_Release_mass text.docx 20240327_News_Release_mass text.docx
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