After picking on the internet, the Federal Communications Commission is now focusing on how it will kill net neutrality on text messaging….and it did already.
On Wednesday, the FCC voted along party lines to categorize Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) as Title I instead of Title II. According to digital rights groups and congressional Democrats, this new FC scheme will give wireless providers the authority to intercept and purge text messaging while broadening digital divide at the same time.
December of last year, the Ajit Pai-chaired FCC dismantled the net neutrality regulation that protected consumers for years from the dishonest business practices of internet service providers (ISPs). The plot became successful and overjoyed cable and broadband providers. It seems that the federal agency is not yet satisfied with the outcome of its scheme and is now putting the spotlight on text messaging.
The FCC reclassified ISPs as ‘information service’ instead of a ‘common carrier’ and is now doing the exact thing with text messaging. The designation is not only a marginal and lawful technicality but can have a significant impact on the consumer’s capability to utilize text messaging for administrative expression and sponsoring charities.
This move of the commission led the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to side with other 19 groups in inscribing a letter. It is addressed to Pai pressing him to either categorize short message service (SMS) and shortcodes being a common carrier. Or, stand by for a decision before the consequences of categorizing text messaging as an information service can be reviewed under the current conditions.
SMS and shortcodes are currently not categorized under the established policy. Shortcodes, by the way, are the five or six-digit numbers generally seen linked to charity appeals that enable donation through text. Labeling text messages under Title II will need wireless carriers’ contribution to the Universal Service Fund which finances programs to boost the convenience and availability of low-cost devices and internet services for rural and low-income households.
The only Democrat FCC commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel said, “That means your carrier now has the legal right to block your text messages and censor the very content of your messages. If that sounds familiar, it should. This agency did the same thing with Internet service last year.”
The decision to categorize SMS and shortcodes under “information service” makes it simpler for ISPs such as Verizon and AT&T to intrude with texting. Free Press policy director, Matt Wood said that the recent decision of the FCC denies the people of the protection against wireless carriers meddling with the consumers’ free speech and communication.
It is fortunate that there is a platform like the Decenternet that gives back the online freedom of the consumers. It is a neutral and decentralized internet infrastructure platform solution liberated by politics and domination.
Decenternet advocates net neutrality by empowering speech and protecting it. It does not treat its users like a criminal or even censor them. The Osiris Net-Neutral Web Browser which is part of the Decenternet Initiative is always free and 3 to 5 times faster compared to traditional browsers.