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Technology / TECHNOLOGY

Consumer Advocate: Wireless Carriers Blocking Text Donations

photo of Josh Smith
July 9, 2012

Consumer advocates are complaining that the Federal Communications Commission is allowing wireless carriers to stand in the way of people who want to make political contributions through text messages.

Last month, the Federal Election Commission voted unanimously to allow political donations via text message, but many logistical and regulatory concerns remain.

Text messages have been used to raise money for charities for years, but the largest wireless carriers are asking regulators for more guidance on potential liability and regulatory issues before they start offering political donations by text, Reuters reported on Monday.

 

Public Knowledge’s Michael Weinberg said that is unacceptable. He said it is a “shame” that the FCC, which regulates wireless carriers, has not taken action.

“Carriers should not have the power to drag their feet and prevent people from donating to political campaigns,” Weinberg, who heads Public Knowledge’s Institute for Emerging Innovation, said in a statement.

“The FCC continues to ignore the fact that text messaging exists and is used billions of times each year," he added. "It is well past time that the FCC make it clear that consumers -- not carriers -- get to choose what they do with text messaging.”

FCC officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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