Texting Censorship Flap Settled Out of Court

By David Kravets

A legal flap concerning whether wireless carriers may censor text messages was settled out of court Friday, leaving unanswered the highly contentious question of whether wireless carriers have the same “must carry” obligations as traditional phone companies.

The month-old New York federal case pitted T-Mobile against a texting service, which claimed the Bellevue, Washington-based wireless carrier unlawfully blocked its clients after the service sent messages on behalf of a California medical-marijuana dispensary listing site.

The full terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Lawyers involved said the agreement requires T-Mobile to stop blocking the New York-based EZ Texting service’s thousands of clients, if they meet T-Mobile’s approval. The medical-marijuana info service, which used texts to tell its users where the nearest medical-marijuana store was, remains blocked.

The dispute comes as the Federal Communications Commission has been dragging its feet over clarifying the rules for wireless carriers. The FCC was asked in 2007 to announce clear guidelines whether wireless carriers, unlike their wireline brethren, may ban legal content they do not support. The so-called “network neutrality” issue made huge headlines earlier this year when Google, along with Verizon, urged Congress not to bind wireless carriers to the same rules as wireline carriers.

Read More>>


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: