Republican Spammer Complains Filters Violate Net Neutrality, Asks FCC to Ban Them
December 12, 2012 12:45 PM
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Notorious spammer claims net neutrality applies to spam
Jason Flanary (R), chief operating officer at ccAdvertising -- a company specializing in political text message spam – turned heads during the last presidential election by
sending unsolicited messages
to smartphones with
, "Obama believes killing children is a right until the umbilical cord is cut."
While Mr. Flanary was disappointed to lose his own election bid for the Virginia state senate [
] amid the controversy that ensued, he's now pushing ahead on an even more ambitious effort. He's asked the
U.S. Federal Communications Commission
to either whitelist political spam (or "political messages" as he views it) or to declare spam in general protected free speech.
Either way, he argues, it should be illegal for private businesses to block or discriminate against using filters traffic they consider "spam".
In the wake of the ccAdvertising text campaign many carriers began to block his company's messages, recognizing that their customers did not want the unsolicited and often times unwelcome texts. But in doing so Mr. Flanary claims they broke the law.
Jason Flanary is among the Republicans breaking with part ranks to voice support for net neutrality, arguing it should be expanded to protect political spam.
[Image Source: FairFax Patch]
His stand is unusual as in the past
most federal Republicans contended
that net neutrality was
an abusive expansion of federal power
intrusion on free market
. Now it appears that at least some Republicans may be changing their mind, looking to leverage the FCC policy to their advantage.
If you want to respond to Mr. Flanary's claim that political text message spam is protected free speech, the FCC welcomes public comments
. Be aware, you must give your real name and address.
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RE: But technically, isn't he right?
12/12/2012 3:00:59 PM
He has a right to speak -- which he's continuing to exercise. However, he does not have a right to force people to listen, which is what being spammed via text message is. People are allowed to filter, and they are allowed to filter at the upstream level. It's like having a "no solicitors" sign up at the edge of of your community. In this case, he's using a private network (phone), which doesn't have a free speech guarantee.
"This is about the Internet. Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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