Print 76 comment(s) - last by Insurgence.. on Dec 14 at 8:07 PM

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 statements like, "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 [source] 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
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 and 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 here.  Be aware, you must give your real name and address.

Sources: FCC [filing], [comments], DailyKos

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RE: Impressed with Obama
By Solandri on 12/12/2012 3:19:28 PM , Rating: 3
Repubs want to make a game out of serious matters and do favoritism and shenanigans with the system.

What worries me more about our political future is the belief by members of both parties that only the other party engages in favoritism and shenanigans with the system.

The founding fathers knew that everyone would try to game the system regardless of political affiliation (there were no parties initially). So they designed the system as best they could to be resistant to it. That's why we have extensive checks and balances built in. Unfortunately when one party controls all the checks and balances (Democrats in 1979-1980 and 1993-1994, Republicans in 2003-2004, Democrats in 2009-2010), they get the run of the house. The electorate has pretty swiftly removed that control from them the very next election.

That's why you don't want to see the filibuster removed from the Senate. It's as annoying as hell, but it's one of the last checks remaining in place after one party controls the Presidency and has the majority in both branches of Congress.

RE: Impressed with Obama
By JediJeb on 12/12/2012 7:32:47 PM , Rating: 2
In addition there were no political parties until after George Washington left office because he was very much against their formation and most respected him enough to not form them while he was in office. Honestly I think they should be made illegal through the constitution though that will never happen.

The very idea of the US government is that the President, Congress or the Supreme Court do not rule the country, they are there to represent the people of the country in governing themselves, that is what makes our government unique. Elected officials are not there to represent any political party they are there to represent the people from their district. Elected officials who are doing their job properly will represent their constituents even if the will of those constituents is not in line with their own personal beliefs. Just as if I work for a company and can/should be fired if I represent my own agenda to a client instead that of my company, so should elected officials when they do not properly represent their constituents' ideas.

These beliefs were drilled into us when I was in high school in Civics class, but today are barely even taught. The people of this country are allowing their power in governing themselves to be taken away and most don't even know they have the power in the first place.

RE: Impressed with Obama
By flubaluba on 12/13/2012 7:27:02 AM , Rating: 2
I think the fact that both sides are guilty of doign things for there own benefit and not there states is one of the problems that will take too much to resolve,we can hope and demand but there pockets are more important than there states, than the people who voted them in, we just have to hope that some day a president will have the power to change things for the better and get money out of politics, i think Obama could be the one to do it if he destroys the Republican party as much as it looks like he is going to do, but hey power corrupts and after all the hatred directed towards him i think he could use that power for some payback

RE: Impressed with Obama
By JediJeb on 12/13/2012 4:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree we need someone strong who will put the needs of all the people above political whims, but I am afraid President Obama is not the one who will do that. He really is not so different from most others in that he is very interested in implementing his own personal ideals without seeing if they are good or bad for the country as a whole.

"Affordable" health care is good, making others pay for expensive health care for those who either can't afford it or don't work to afford it is not good.

"Clean" energy is good, killing our economy just to force clean energy upon the masses is not good.

Helping the poor to better their circumstances is good, robbing from the rich to give money to the poor without asking them to put effort into improving their circumstances is not good.

Having peace with other nations is good, but making ourselves no longer any type of threat by weakening our position in the world is not good.

RE: Impressed with Obama
By flubaluba on 12/13/2012 7:19:49 AM , Rating: 2
I think the filibusterer is a very important part of the political process, but it just needs some tweaking as it has been abused by the republicans, 300 odd filibusters in this congress, that is just taking the piss, so now the democrats will tweak it not to force bills through, just to get bills to the floor so that if someone wants to filibuster it we can all see who is doing it. Nothing wrong with seeing who is preventing bills from passing for the veterans or tax breaks etc.

The overall picture of politics is very sad though, too much power in peoples hands that are openly accepting bribes to vote one way or the other.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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