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Communications Government Spam IT

Text Message Spammer Wants FCC To Declare Spam Filters Illegal 338

Posted by Soulskill
from the hello-sir-madam dept.
TCPALaw writes "ccAdvertising, a company purported to have 'a long, long, long history of pumping spam out of every telecommunications orifice, and even boasting of voter suppression' has asked the FCC to declare spam filters illegal. Citing Free Speech rights, the company claims wireless carriers should be prohibited from employing spam filters that might block ccAdvertising's political spam. Without stating it explicitly, the filing implies that network neutrality must apply to spam, so the FCC must therefore prohibit spam filters (unless political spam is whitelisted). In an earlier filing, the company suggests it is proper that recipients 'bear some cost' of unsolicited political speech sent to their cell phones. The public can file comments with the FCC on ccAdvertising's filing online."
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Text Message Spammer Wants FCC To Declare Spam Filters Illegal

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  • What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gagol (583737) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:20AM (#42258677)
    Telemarketers who wants to make it illegal to not answer the phone? This is getting ridiculous.
  • Chutzpah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fustakrakich (1673220) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:21AM (#42258681) Journal

    The world would be such a boring place without it.

  • by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:28AM (#42258707)

    That's why the spammers will not be based in the US.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:29AM (#42258711)

    So its also reasonable for your ISP to remove the mail-filter to filter out spam mails?

    Should, as the article states, SPAM filters be made illegal?

    I get about 1-10 mails per day into my inbox. Spamassasin et al block about 10-20k per month worth of spam. I'll gladly forward those to you, since you find it sounding reasonable (NOFI)?

    This is just some troll abusing a loop-hole in the free-speech law. Technically, the spammer is completely right though. Morally, completely wrong. So should we remove all spam filters from e-mail, because spammers have the right of free speech? Or do we need to modify the free-speech law, saying that SPAM isn't free-speech? Who decides then, what SPAM is. I find everything says to be SPAM. It needs to be filtered now.

  • Re:First spam! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dintech (998802) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:32AM (#42258719)
    "You have the right to free speech and I have the right not to listen."
  • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:35AM (#42258731)
    I guess this guy should be educated on what "free speech" is and what "net neutrality" means. In fact, because of the when-in-Rome thingy, I propose to communicate it comprehensibly, in terms those people understand, i.e., *everyone* should write them an e-mail on that matter.
  • by Tom (822) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:40AM (#42258743) Homepage Journal

    This sounds reasonable to me - the telephone company has no business filtering phone calls, so it should not filter text messages either.

    Bullshit. The phone company should most definitely filter both calls and text messages if the customer requests it. If I don't want to receive any calls by 555-1234567 because they are from some sicko who breathes at me in the middle of the night, the phone company should block the calls when I ask them to. And if I don't want to receive any spam messages, and my phone company offers a spam filter, and I ask them to please use it on my number, then yes, please!

    What you mean is that they should not do it without asking their customers. But the alternative is not to not do it, the alternative is asking the customers.

    Subscribers may choose to employ a spam-blocking service, which could be provided by other people

    For example, the phone company. Why not? They are in the best position.

  • by rioki (1328185) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:43AM (#42258755) Homepage
    Actually GP has a point. The service provider has no right to filter anything, as long as it was properly payed for. The receiving end has all the right to filter any way they like. If they don't like the word purple, let them filter all messages that contain the word purple.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:44AM (#42258761)

    Where I live, the sender pays for text messages.

    Problem solved. I don't get any spam.

    I just can't fathom why anyone would sign up for a service where they would have to pay for calls received, beyond the base rate.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:47AM (#42258775)
    I think they know, but pretend not to if that is to their advantage.
  • Bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:54AM (#42258793) Journal

    Spamming is not, and has never been a free speech issue. It's a property rights issue. The spammer's right to free speech does not create a duty for anyone else to allow him to use their privately-owned equipment to send the spam. If the greasy little bastard wants to advertise, then he should buy ad space like any legitimate business would.

    -jcr

  • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:55AM (#42258803)
    Surely the simplest solution is make spam filters optional but default them to Opt in.
  • Re:Car Analogy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:08AM (#42258853)

    Like watching the Quartlow brothers add 10W30 when you said 30HD. You point it out, and they say "Is equeevalent.'

    --

    I spam you. You spam me. We're a dysfunctional family.

    More like your car comes back from a service with adverts all over it. You complain and they say "don't try to infringe my freedom of speech". Then you notice that the cost of the adverts has been added to your service bill. They say "it is proper that recipients 'bear some cost' of unsolicited adverts".

  • I other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zaatxe (939368) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:21AM (#42258923)
    Assassins Guild wants bullet-proof vests to be declared illegal.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:23AM (#42258941)

    ...make spam illegal.

    Problem solved.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:33AM (#42258973) Homepage

    I believe I have an important message to express in the form of punching advertisers in the nose. I believe this is a freedom of speech issue and it should not be suppressed. And if there are medical costs, I believe the recipient should be responsible for them.

  • by SeventhGear (2054850) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:41AM (#42259011)
    Why do I see this as a chance for the service provider to stick it to us again? "Oh you want 'SPAM' messages filtered out? Yeah, that will be an additional $9.99 per month." Then they will try to find a way to block 3rd party apps from blocking SPAM so you have to use their service or root/jailbreak your phone to avoid unsolicited messages.
  • Re:First spam! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:55AM (#42259099)

    er the right to free speech is the right to not have your speech curtailed by the government.

    Seeing as it doesn't involve the drafting of legislation that curtails freedom of speech, If companies or users want to filter your shit they can damn well do so as they please.

  • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:00AM (#42259131)

    No, they want to make it illegal for the phone company to block the call from ever going through.

    Do you really want your phone company deciding who can and cannot call you?

    If my number is on the "Do Not Call" list and the company is a telemarketer/pollster/politician? Abso-fucking-lutely!

  • Re:What's next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hawkinspeter (831501) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:08AM (#42259173)
    I thought the whole "free speech" things was that the government can't restrict speech whereas it has no bearing on private individuals or companies.
  • by T-Bone-T (1048702) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:39AM (#42259349)

    I have found that the more cynical you think about how a company will do something, especially companies like AT&T and Verizon, the more correct your predictions will be.

  • by dywolf (2673597) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:53AM (#42259403)

    the problem is it WASNT properly paid for. Messages I recieve I have to pay for. I didnt agree to recieve the spam, I didnt agree to spend my money on recieving it, therefore, screw the spammer. It's like sending ad spam to fax machines and costing companies money via fax paper.

  • Re:First spam! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MachineShedFred (621896) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:15AM (#42259549) Journal

    US Law does not state that I can enjoy creamer in my coffee, yet oceans of it are sold in the US.

    There are such things as natural laws. If we had to codify every single everything, everyone would have to be a lawyer just to walk down the street.

  • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:39AM (#42259737) Journal

    Here's the difference though: you can only receive one phone call at a time - everyone else gets a busy signal. Thus, the technology acts as a spam filter already. You can take the phone off the hook, or dial out and no incoming calls get through (without something like call waiting).

    With email or text messages, you can receive hundreds of thousands simultaneously, and there is nothing you can do about it until it's already been accepted and working against your mailbox size limit (and bandwidth limit), unless the carrier does something about it before you see it. And it's not one person dialing another person, it's one person hitting a button and millions of messages are sent to millions of people.

    If there was something along the lines of a Do Not Call list that had legal teeth, then that would be one thing, but there's not. Also, there's nothing to prevent offshore operations from spamming the crap out of people, because there's no prohibitive international calling fees.

  • by lightknight (213164) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:42AM (#42259757) Homepage

    Fair enough. Then let people choose to opt-out of Spam Assassin the next time their bill comes due from their ISP.

    All they have to do is logon to a the provided URL, fill in their username and password, and tick the box which says "MOAR SPAM PLZ."

    Because we're told that opt-out is just as effective as opt-in, by the same people.

  • by tibit (1762298) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:10AM (#42259989)

    Do ISPs really filter out the mails? All that gmail does for me is put some stuff in the inbox, and some other suff in the spam folder. Nothing is filtered out. I can read spam all day if I want to, it's just in its own cozy folder. Doesn't seem like a lot of free speech curtailment if you ask me.

  • Re:First spam! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Q-Hack! (37846) * on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:12AM (#42260005)

    Some would say, this has already happened.

  • Re:What's next? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gr8Apes (679165) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:17AM (#42260071)
    In that case - I'm telling the phone company who cannot call me - they're taking direction directly from me. That's different than the telco deciding who can and cannot call me.
  • by gfxguy (98788) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @11:19AM (#42260789)

    Yeah but filtering at the end means networks clogged up with spam being transmitted. If they want to play with loopholes then ISPs can respond by assuming the conceit that consumers are leasing time on their servers and running their own spam filtering code (nicely picked from the one available option they provide).

    THIS!

    My first naive assessment of net-neutrality was that ISPs had every right to charge companies for using bandwidth on their networks, and I wouldn't want to support some overbearing legislation despite the fact it might negatively affect how I use the internet. But after just a little thought, I realized I am the customer - not google, not netflix - I'm the customer and I'm already paying and I'm choosing how to use my paid-for bandwidth, so became a supporter or net neutrality, but it's not netflix using the bandwidth, it's me.

    In this case, though, it's pretty obvious it's the spammers are using the bandwidth, not the the customers of the service providers. The difference is between pushing and pulling content - if I pull it, I'm the one using it - if they push it, they are the ones using it unless I told them I want them to push content to me.

    If anyone in the legal system has a brain, this guy trying to get net neutrality to work for spam will crash and burn relatively easily.

  • Re:First spam! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @12:46PM (#42261793) Homepage Journal

    I wish the above AC would get an account, because "the right to free speech is the right to not have your speech curtailed by the government." was insightful, but nobody will see it.

    The right to free speech isn't the right to stand in front of my house with a bullhorn. The right to swing your fist stops before my nose begins. I have every right to use spam filters. This sleazy lawsuit is just another indication that some people have absolutely ZERO ethics, let alone morals.

  • Re:First spam! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @02:40PM (#42263403) Journal

    While this is true nowhere in the constitution does it say "You have to pay for my right to speak" but that is EXACTLY what this company is proposing, because bandwidth has a cost and those costs are passed onto consumers.

    So if they want to send spam? Fine, send 'em a bill for every piece of spam they send. They are allowed to speak, sure, but the free speech laws are all about the government not blocking your right to speak NOT giving a free medium for you to speak in. You are allowed to hold up a sign on a street corner professing your belief on this or that issue but you do NOT have the right to demand free access to an auditorium owned by a private company just to air your rants and that is what these guys are basically trying to get, everyone else to bear the costs of their bullshit.

  • Re:First spam! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jonadab (583620) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:28PM (#42266349) Homepage Journal
    The traditional way this is stated is this:

    Freedom of the press means that anyone who owns a press can use it to print whatever opinions he likes. It does *not* mean that somebody _else_ has to print whatever _you_ want on _their_ press.

    If you write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, who decides whether to print it or not? Presumably, traditionally, it was the editor. If you write a comment on a blog, who decides whether it gets published or not? The people who run the blog are the first line, but ultimately it's the people who own the web server that publishes the blog. For example, if I used Blogger to set up my blog, and you make a comment on one of my posts, I can nuke your comment because it's my blog, but also Google can nuke your comment because it's their blogging service. If I don't like that, I can go set up my own server (and buy bandwidth...) and cut Google out of the loop by not using their service. If *you* (the commenter) don't like how the what-to-print decisions are made on my blog, you can jolly well go get your own blog.

    So yeah, the SMS spammer is asking for a "freedom" that has never existed. If he wants guaranteed freedom to transmit his advertisements via a cellular network and display them on a phone, he can jolly well go get his own cellular network and phone. Otherwise, the people who own the network and the phone do, in fact, have some say in the matter. Deal with it.

    Now, I'm willing to bet that if he did set up his own cellular network and offer people free use of it provided they accept all of his advertisements unfiltered as part of the deal, he'd probably get some takers. (I don't know that it would necessarily be easy to run such a service in a manner that resulted in advertising revenue adequate to pay all the operating costs and turn a profit, but that's his problem to solve as the entrepreneur. If running a profitable business were easy, just about everyone would do it.)

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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