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.
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.
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.
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.
Nov 5, 2018
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai sent letters to more than a dozen telephone service providers today asking them for a status update on their efforts to curb robocalls. He demanded these companies deploy a system that authenticates the identity of callers as those calls transit the networks with the goal of identifying and squashing spoofed numbers and spam.
Dec 12, 2018
The FCC today approved several declaratory rulings that aim to protect consumers from robocalls and spam messages. Though the move was taken under the guise of safeguarding everyday people, the changes in effect give carriers more control over their networks in ways that could harm consumers.