iPhone Reuters

Israel has updated its anti-spam laws to include “spammy” phone calls.

The new law making spam phone calls illegal was sponsored by MKs Adi Koll (Yesh Atid) and Mickey Rosenthal (Labor) passed its second and third readings late Tuesday.

As a result, annoying “robo-calls” - the pre-recorded messages that are transmitted tens of thousands of times a day automatically - will be illegal, unless the recipient of the call agrees to listen to its message.

Many organizations send out text messages (SMS) on cellphone networks promising spiritual and material blessings, often in return for a “donation,” or a phone call to an organization, where a fast-talking salesperson will assure the caller that a “great Rabbi” will issue a blessing in return for a donation - or, if the potential donor is reluctant to give, perhaps the opposite.

The new tenet reflects existing anti-spam laws regarding email, in which businesses and organizations cannot send out messages unless the recipient has agreed that s/he is interested in the message.

Offenders can be fined NIS 1,000 for each instance of spam received by “customers.”

According to Rosenthal, “Non-profit organizations have been taking advantage of loopholes to send unwarranted amounts of spam. We have put an end to this."

"I, like everyone else, get these annoying messages every day, and this law will redeem us from phone calls from organizations that offer to 'redeem' us - for a donation," he concluded.