News Services lets you set the originator; wind folk up

Picture is a service similar to the likes of Textanonymous and the raft of anonymous texting services out there.

I don’t have a real issue with these types of services – that is, until someone sends a fake text from my number and causes no small amount of havoc.

I think there’s definitely a humour element to them — I’m sure it’s quite a fun tool to wind up your friends, particularly if they don’t quite know that text messages can be so easily faked. However, the moment that someone goes to the media with this sort of thing or a related story, there will be huge pressure piled on the regulator and the regulator will all-of-a-sudden announce an immediate investigation and, before you know it, aggregators will be told to tighten up their dynamic-originator services. I can absolutely see that happening.

Meantime…. 😉

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

9 replies on “ lets you set the originator; wind folk up”

Ahhhh but you see, we at textanonymous now have a selection of originators rather than a free form field. This stops people pretending to be other numbers and has made the server much easier to manage with very few “warnings” being sent out to people who send VERY bad messages.

We monitor all messages sent and report as required etc too 🙂

I am in 2 minds about services aimed at consumers to provide this sort of thing. They provide great entertainment if done right – and one could argue less dodgy and certainly cheaper entertainment than texting BABE to 69696!!!

As a provider of sms, itagg see dynamic originator used every day and over the course of 5 years and several thousand clients have seen very little abuse of it; mainly because we serve small businesses who have legitimate reason for changing the originator. But yeah as this sort of thing filters down to consumers, hhmmm, it could get worrying. The whole industry is on such a high state of alert that it will only take one message from little johnny in his back bedroom to initiate an industry wide review and the creation of 20 more pages of red tape.


I think these services are great.

Now we are all aware of these services then if someone texts me real or fake i know it could be fake.

But if these services did not exist then if someone sent me a fake text i would not know it was fake. Its still quite easy to fake a txt message without these services.

So letting people know about and others like it is actually solving the problem rather than creating one.

I recently blogged some initial ideas on a Code of Practice for Business SMS, with abuse of dynamic aliases as one of the issues that we would want to address.

Like Steve, we’ve seen very little abuse of this feature by businesses – but we dont release the functionality to a customer until we know who they are.

David, you say that you are managing your service so that now “very few “warnings” [ are ] being sent out to people who send VERY bad messages.”

As it stands, I’m not quite sure who would regulate this feature (ICSTIS wouldn’t really care), it would probably come down to the individual network.) However, the POTENTIAL remains for some very bad PR (see recent press about text message bullying) – if I was your SMS supplier I’d be very worried.

Similar services will always exist but without sounding too pious, I feel that when a [ business ] customer is looking for an SMS provider they should be able to choose one that does, or doesn’t handle this sort of traffic – and so take a view on the probable security of their supply.

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