With all the news surrounding T-Mobile recently, increased attention has been raised regarding SMS and carrier’s control of the medium. Public interest groups and mobile service providers are heeding the opportunity to drive awareness of the practices taking place surrounding text messaging and the carriers they flow through.
One such public interest group, Washington DC-based Public Knowledge, published a blog post and action alert yesterday asking mobile users to “tell the FCC to protect their right to send and receive text messages and to stop cell phone companies from deciding what they can and can’t say in a text message.”
This comes on the heels of the latest controversy that stemmed from T-Mobile unilaterally deciding to prevent its customers from receiving text messages that they requested to receive from a service that helps people find legal medical marijuana dispensaries. The carrier justified its actions by declaring it an “unsanctioned and inappropriate service.”
In the past, major wireless carriers have blocked text messages from political groups that they deemed “controversial or unsavory” and even threatened Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) fundraising for Haitian earthquake relief programs, even though people specifically requested to receive them.
Through its action alert, Public Knowledge provides a pre-defined letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that consumers can send, asking the FCC to grant PK’s three-year-old text-messaging petition and take notice to a cause that’s gone largely unnoticed for far too long.