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Blog of Mass Destruction

Denying Free Speech One Text Message At A Time

By The Reverend Published: September 27, 2007


Read UPDATE below.

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo directs his readers to consider this NY Times article on Verizon and NARAL Pro-Choice America. Here's a taste...

Saying it had the right to block "controversial or unsavory" text messages, Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon's mobile network available for a text-message program.

The other leading wireless carriers have accepted the program, which allows people to sign up for text messages from Naral by sending a message to a five-digit number known as a short code.

Text messaging is a growing political tool in the United States and a dominant one abroad, and such sign-up programs are used by many political candidates and advocacy groups to send updates to supporters.

But legal experts said private companies like Verizon probably have the legal right to decide which messages to carry. The laws that forbid common carriers from interfering with voice transmissions on ordinary phone lines do not apply to text messages.

Notice how conveniently Verizon, perhaps also participating in Bush's Spy-On-America Program, also shills for Bush's wingnut base by turning away a completely legal organization's communications. I would simply call this a conflict of interest, but's more incestuous than that.

Corporate White House incest partners, like Verizon, must be good and obedient partners if they want amnesty from violating the Constitution along with the President Guy. President Guy is good at implicating individuals and companies in his crimes, so that later on he can count on their complicity to committ even more crimes or find themselves in deep doo if they don't.

In order to eliminate, or at least seriously impair, free speech rights in America, it will take a very subtle effort, an oblique yet steady, approach. Getting communications companies to do it for the wingnut Republicans in return for a continued seat at the Master's table is only the beginning.

Dissenters from wingnut ideology must be marginalized. Wouldn't want anything "controversial or unsavory"

like f**king war like abortion stuff texted all around. Corporate fascists are more than willing to help out.

Couldn't Democratic Party text messages and....oh, I don't know.....MoveOn.Org text messages....or maybe NAACP text messages also be considered "controversial and unsavory" by wingnut communications companies? What about stem-cell researchers or atheists or (gasp) Muslims? Surely their text messages could be called "controversial and unsavory"...I mean at least by wingnuts. Right?


But the company reversed course this morning, saying it had made a mistake.

“The decision to not allow text messaging on an important, though sensitive, public policy issue was incorrect, and we have fixed the process that led to this isolated incident,” Jeffrey Nelson, a company spokesman, said in a statement. Link

Never mind.



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