On the heels of continued controversy surrounding wireless carriers blocking and censoring SMS messages as they see fit, public interest groups and mobile service providers are encouraging consumers to speak out and ask the FCC to protect text messaging and consumers’ rights to receive them.
One such public interest group, Washington DC-based Public Knowledge, published a blog post and action alert today 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.”
The latest controversy stems 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.