Senators Want FCC to Keep Messaging Classified as an Information Service as FCC Probes Carrier Coverage Maps
A handful of Senators are asking the FCC to protect messaging services by keeping them classified as an information service. Last month, the FCC announced plans to reduce robocalls and spam messages. Part of that effort includes reclassifying text messages as a telecommunications service. This would give carriers more power to control messaging services through robotext-blocking and anti-spoofing measures. The FCC sees this as a positive for consumers, but 10 Democratic lawmakers, led by Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, have asked the FCC to leave messaging alone. They posit that this would allow carriers to block or censor the content of messages if the carrier decided the messages were in violation of terms of service. The FCC is set to vote on this matter later this month. Separately, the FCC has said it plans to investigate whether or not carriers have been honest concerning their coverage, particularly in rural areas. Under the Mobility Fund Phase II program, the government is looking to provide up to $4.53 billion in funding over the next 10 years to help carriers expand coverage in rural areas. The major carriers were required to submit data on their coverage to establish where government funding is needed. This data appears to have caught the attention of the FCC. "A preliminary review of speed test data submitted through the challenge process suggested significant violations of the Commission's rules. That's why I've ordered an investigation into these matters," said Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC. The agency is suspending the Mobility Fund project until it completes its investigation.
Jul 25, 2016
Google today said it is updating the Google Phone app on Nexus and Android One devices with a new spam-blocking tool. With the new app aboard, Nexus devices will warn owners about potential spam callers, as well as give them the ability to block or report suspected spam callers.
Jun 29, 2017
Instagram today introduced two tools it hopes will help reduce toxic and spammy comments on users' posts. First, Instagram is adding a filter to block offensive comments that might be made on posts and videos.
Sep 29, 2016
People can now use their voice to take full command of Google Maps when in the car. Google updated Maps today and added more support for "Ok, Google"-based voice commands.
Nov 21, 2018
The FCC may hand wireless carriers another victory over consumers next month if it decides to reclassify text messages. The FCC is weighing methods to reduce robocalls and spam messages.
Jul 20, 2017
Play Protect, a security tool Google announced earlier this year, has made its way to many of today's Android smartphones. Play Protect is a set of features that Google created to keep Android phones safe from malware and other malicious applications.