T-Mobile says it has the right to censor text messages running through its network

T-Mobile says it has the right to censor text messages running through its network
Do wireless carriers face the same "must-carry" obligations as wireline firms do? T-Mobile told a federal judge yesterday that the answer is no and that the carrier has the right to decide to pick and choose which text messages may go out over its network.

The nation's fourth largest carrier is being sued by a texting service called EZ Texting. The service claims that after they signed up a medical marijuana dispensary as a customer, T-Mobile cut off the service it was providing to its short code customers.

EZ Texting's short code service is familiar to many. It provides information to those who text a code word to a special number. For example, a restaurant could set up a system where cell phone users who text the word MENU to a specific number, receive back a text version of the eatery's menu.

T-Mobile said it has the right to pre-approve all of EZ Texting's clients and the marijuana dispensary was not submitted for approval. The carrier said that it has the right to request approval of the texting service's clients, "to protect the carrier and its customers from potentially illegal, fraudulent, or offensive marketing campaigns conducted on its network."

A similar situation happened in 2007 to Verizon and Big Red eventually reversed itself and gave in to an abortions-right group that was sending messages to supporters. As far as EZ Texting is concerned, the company claims it will go out of business if the judge does not force T-Mobile to carry its service.

source: Gizmodo



1. Kenneth R Hoefle unregistered

Without clear knowledge of the Verizon case, I think the company's strategy in the abortion case ended correctly and may have begun with this 'endgame' in sight. The possibility of Verizon taking a long-view of 'giving in' to the 'abortions-right group,' while at first opposing them, could have been a decision for "positioning" the company's brand. Verizon would have been aware that their opposition could be supported by Wireless' not being subject to regulatory rule or legal requirements imposed by state or local governments who must stand aside in favor of the regulatory power granted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by the "Telecommunications Act of 1996." i.e. "Must Carry" could not be imposed on 'Wireless Carriers' as it was intended for 'wire-line' companies. The 'Telecom Act' principally sought to provide competition in communications and holds that Wireless Telephony is not regulated in the same manor as Wire-line Telephony. This, so that a single National system might emerge rather than a quilt-work of "Telecoms" regulated at the state or local level for things like pricing, services and much more. HENCEFORTH, "MUST CARRY," a rule for Wire-line, wold not apply to wireless and Verizon would have know this. It will be interesting to see how T-Mobile's case is handled by the courts if this is the end-game they seek rather than Verizon's strategy of avoiding the court.

2. mr. droid

Posts: 278; Member since: Aug 21, 2010

this is a direct violation of freedom of speech. I want to file suit against EZ Texting for that. i hope they do go under. they have absolutely NO right at all. NONE what so ever to tell me what i can and cant say though text, and what i can receive. its not right at all. as long as this is how they are going to be, good bye EZ Texting. i hope they do go under.

3. dahaka17

Posts: 61; Member since: Jun 08, 2010

I think u have your sides mixed up, T- Mobile is the one saying they have the right to choose what you say though text , EZ Texting is the one whose defending your freedom of speech

4. bob unregistered unregistered

Freedom of speech only protects you from the govt. Privately held companies are not bound by the first amendment.

5. hornetmx

Posts: 71; Member since: Mar 12, 2010

Not in this admistration. Cmon, did you just come back from a 20yr old long comma? Welcome back. Things have change a little.

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