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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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  • First spam! (Score:5, Funny)

    by cpotoso (606303) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:12AM (#42258645) Journal
    First spam!
    • 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."
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:45AM (#42258769)

        ... and I have the right not to listen.

        AFAIK the US Law does not state any such thing. That therefore must mean you do not have any such right, and are obliged to listen to whatever anyone has to say. /sarcasm

        • 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: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: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.

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

            by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.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: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jonadab (583620)
              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 li
        • Re:First spam! (Score:5, Informative)

          by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:13AM (#42260021)

          ... and I have the right not to listen.

          AFAIK the US Law does not state any such thing. That therefore must mean you do not have any such right, and are obliged to listen to whatever anyone has to say. /sarcasm

          (Sarcasm tag aside...) for a private person: what is not prohibited by law it is permitted. Thus, one doesn't need to have a law granting a right to enjoy it (for govts is the other way around: what is not specificity allowed by a law, it is supposed to be prohibited).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...make spam illegal.

      Problem solved.

  • Car Analogy (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    That'd be like... Fuck you, spammer.

    • by Sulphur (1548251)

      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.

      • 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".

        • Re:Car Analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Sulphur (1548251) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:00AM (#42259127)

          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".

          Attempts to remove the adverts cause the car to be disfigured and some even cause holes in the body. The warranty is voided and your insurance goes up as a commercial vehicle. The neighbors sue to have the junk removed, and the wife leaves for a used car salesman with ED pills.

  • 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.
    • 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 geirlk (171706) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:38AM (#42258739)

      Not very soon after, they'd start calling collect.

    • 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.
      • Surely the simplest solutions is for the FCC to drop the filing?

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:37AM (#42258995) Homepage

        No, the simplest solution is to shoot people like him.

        How much would you like to bet that if he succeeds in manipulating the system he'll move all his bank accounts back onshore as a way of saying thanks to the system?

      • Re:What's next? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @09:01AM (#42259463)

        The simplest solution is to prosecute phone, computer, and fax spam under the existing federal law of USCC Section 18, paragraph 2701. The law applies to "unlawful stored communications", and it's only deliberate regulatory cooperation with bulk advertisers that have prevented applying it to email and phone spam.

        Under that law, a first offense of spam for commercial gain is punishable by 5 years in jail. Second offense, 10 years.

  • 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.

    • I think the proper Yiddish word that you are looking for is "Shyster."

      • by Sulphur (1548251)

        I think the proper Yiddish word that you are looking for is "Shyster."

        Dayenu.

      • No, it's Schmuck. A literal translation of schmuck is "penis" but it's considered an especially vulgar term and has come to mean an "obnoxious, contemptible or detestable person, or one who is stupid or foolish." (Wikipedia)

  • Sounds reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:22AM (#42258685) Homepage
    This sounds reasonable to me - the telephone company has no business filtering phone calls, so it should not filter text messages either. Subscribers may choose to employ a spam-blocking service, which could be provided by other people than the phone company.
    • Re:Sounds reasonable (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:24AM (#42258691)

      Yes,

      and together with this we should also change the following.
      If you receive unsolicited and unwanted email, the sender is criminally liable for e.g. stalking. If a company is the sender, tha liabilty is transferred to the CEO, the entire board of directors and all shareholders.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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 f

      • 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 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.

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            So what you're saying is that you pay to receive a text message? Even though you can't really choose whether or not you want to receive a particular message? That's absurd. With phone calls, you don't pay until you answer, if you pay at all for incoming calls. However with Text Messages, since there's no option to "not answer" it should be illegal for them to charge you for incoming texts. Otherwise they could rack up your bill by turning off the spam filter for a little while, or letting it run with loose
            • So what you're saying is that you pay to receive a text message?

              In the U.S., yes, SMS messages that you receive count against your limit. This is becoming less of an issue than it was a few years ago, though, as most plans now include unlimited* SMS messages.

              * Not the "unlimited data" definition, either. At least not yet.

        • 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mlk (18543)

        > So should we remove all spam filters from e-mail, because spammers have the right of free speech

        I'm not sure that is quite what the troll is claiming, rather that ISPs should not filter the emails. You have the right not to listen (i.e. set up(1)) any spam filter you want. However the spammer has the free speech right to not be impeded in spamming the crap out of you(2) by the ISP as the ISP should not take any note of the content coming in, but just deliver it all equally.

        It is an interesting argument

        • by mlk (18543)

          Free speech right here is badly worded. The ISP, as a common carrier should not play with content unless asked to by the recipient.

        • 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.

    • 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 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.

      • Re:Sounds reasonable (Score:5, Informative)

        by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @07:09AM (#42258861) Homepage

        Where I live, the sender pays for text messages. Problem solved. I don't get any spam.

        Here in Brazil the sender pays, but I still receive spam. It so happens that the phone company can partner with a spammer so that he pays much, much less for sending spam SMS than normal people do. At least they make the official spammers offer an opt-out, but any time a new company signs up with them, I start receiving brand new spam. ~sigh~

        • Re:Sounds reasonable (Score:4, Informative)

          by TapeCutter (624760) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @08:01AM (#42259133) Journal
          I work for a large Japanese corporation with >150K employees, they sell indirect access to our corporate in-boxes to spammers. They call it a "social club" and advertisers offer specials "exclusive to company X employees", they are broadcast by HR once or twice a week and tailored to fit the geographical location. Personally I don't mind being paid to delete spam.
      • by mrbester (200927)

        The only time I pay for receiving calls / SMS is if I am roaming internationally. Why anyone would sign up for a service where they pay when someone wants to call / text them *even if they don't want the communication* is beyond me. You want to send me stuff? You pay for it. All of it.

    • I'm at liberty to appoint anyone I want, and especially a telecoms company, to screen and filter calls on my behalf.
    • 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 aepervius (535155) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:33AM (#42258725)
    Why the fuck is that even allowed in any sane democracy ?
    • The "voter suppression" was a series of text messages that many would find offensive, but whether they were intended to suppress votes or to convince people to vote differently is a matter of interpretation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:33AM (#42258727)

    Because that form is bound to appear sooner or later I want to make it clear that I advocate a

    ( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (X) vigilante

    approach to fighting spam.

    but

    (X) Killing them that way is not slow and painful enough

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Somebody had to do it.

      Your post advocates a
      ( ) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based (X) vigilante

      approach to fighting spam. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work.
      (X) No one will be able to find the guy
      (X) The police will not put up with it (specifically, murder is still illegal however justified it might be)

      Specifically, your plan fails to account for
      (X) Laws expressly prohibiting it
      (X) Asshats
      (X) Jurisdictional problems
      (X) Extreme profitability of spam

      and the following philosophical obje

  • you ask if you need to use blue, nails, screws or bolts to secure your feet to the floor.

    You can tell the worth of an argument by the one arguing it. In this case, it is clear evidence that spam filters should b mandatory.

  • Can we please shoot them? Please? Pretty please?

    • by azalin (67640)
      Wouldn't that be .. too quick?
    • by geogob (569250)

      Killing is a barbaric punishment. I propose having them delete junk mail all day long for the a few years. If they don't behave, a bit of solitary confinement, sorting important message though an inadequate spam filter should do the trick.

  • by portwojc (201398) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:41AM (#42258747) Homepage

    I heard this before back in the late 90's when I a customer called up and asked why he couldn't connect. I told him "Sir you're account has been disabled for spamming". He new darn good and well he was spamming, oh but he denied it, and in frustration claimed freedom of speech. Good luck with that governments can deny speech we're not the government. Boy was he upset. Fun times. Sad these days spammers don't seem to get burned so easily unless they are dragged into court by someone big company...

    Sorry .gov's looks like you might lose your spam filtering.

    • by jcr (53032)

      Don't most ISPs these days have terms of service that include spammers having to pay damages?

      -jcr

  • So business is petitioning the government to make a law that the people do not want... seems like we've been here before, and business normally wins. Okay I don't know about "normally wins" but it's certainly happened before. At least with DMCA while I don't agree with the motivations behind it it's at least an order of magnitude more rational than this.

    • by jcr (53032)

      No, this is a thief trying to get the government to businesses to allow him to steal the use of their equipment and services. The carriers don't want spammers any more than you do, because the spammers irritate their customers and waste their resources.

      -jcr

      • by berashith (222128)

        I pay per text that I receive. I am pretty certain that my carrier is more than happy to allow these to come through. I even tried to use a partial blocking application ( not just all texts ) but that apparently was preventing the texts from being read, but not received. I was still being charged for every spam that I didnt see.

        I would like an ability to send the text back to my cell provider. Every text that comes back to them does not charge my account. They can look to see that I am not sending them back

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          I would like an ability to send the text back to my cell provider. Every text that comes back to them does not charge my account. They can look to see that I am not sending them back legitimate texts. This way, it will cost them plenty for allowing texts, and they can actually provide a service for their million percent markup, and I wont have t o pay for this crap

          For Verizon/T-Mobile/AT&T:
          Forward the offending text message to the short code 7726 (SPAM)
          They'll shoot you back a message which you must reply to.

          And you should always call your telco and dispute bad billings.
          They almost always forgive small stuff without a big fight.

  • Bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <[jcr] [at] [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

  • 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 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.

  • It's a common misconception to think that the Right to Free Speech is equal to a Right to be Heard. But, nothing could be further from the truth.

  • He has the right to say whatever he wants. I have the right not to listen to it.
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:58AM (#42260527)

    If this spammer were on Slashdot:

    "I have a right to free speech and so everyone should be forced to read my speech. Modding me to -1 hides my post and thus infringes my free speech rights. Thus, I insist that Slashdot moderators automatically mod my comments to +5 or I'll sue!"

  • by MysteriousPreacher (702266) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @01:51PM (#42262815) Journal

    Contact their ccAdvertising's clients. Don't be offensive or do something silly. Maybe a letter or email each week, explaining why associating with that company is a shitty idea. Might work on corporations. Probably wont work on the political clients, who by and large wont give a shit unless it's going to affect their re-election.

    http://www.ccadvertising.biz/clients.html [ccadvertising.biz]

    How about Burger King as a starting point?

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