Mobile phone censorship regime coming?

by on February 27, 2008 · 9 comments

As I mentioned way back in 2005, the specter of FCC content controls for cell phone and other mobile media devices is growing. And, according to this new Radio Ink report, it’s now under serious consideration at the FCC:

FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate says the FCC is looking into how its indecency regulations could extend to the increasing availability of audio and video content delivered to mobile devices. In a recent speech delivered at the Association of National Advertisers Advertising Law and Business Affairs Conference, Tate said, “As we enter the age of content delivery over mobile devices, there is a whole new set of questions to address regarding how to provide ratings, how to block objectionable content, and whether the FCC has a role to play in this arena.”

To be fair, Commissioner Tate also praised the voluntary steps that industry has already taken to empower parents to deal with this privately. And Tate also said that, “market-based solutions are the best way to achieve our shared goals and to provide parents the tools they need to be the first line of defense for their children.” But the threat of more aggressive intervention by the FCC still looms in light of her earlier comments. Stay tuned; much more to come on this front.

  • DioG

    Mobile phone communications are not public, interception is contrary to federal law. Under what doctrine does the FCC regulate the content of speech on your telephone?

  • DioG

    Mobile phone communications are not public, interception is contrary to federal law. Under what doctrine does the FCC regulate the content of speech on your telephone?

  • http://www2.blogger.com/profile/14380731108416527657 Steve R.

    Censorship would be wrong, so would the “filtering” of internet content. The “big picture” concern (if phone censorship or net filtering is implemented) is that the flow of content over any transmission medium will be “inspected”, a clear violation of privacy.

    The FCC makes for an “easy target”. After all, FCC Commissioner Tate raised the specter of FCC regulation. But is Commissioner Tate really speaking as an FCC Commissioner or covertly as a person who has fallen under the spell of the lobbying efforts of the telecom industry???

    Anecodtally, based on media articles and the known lobbying efforts of the telecom industry, the “real” impetus for onerous regulation is the telecom industry itself and NOT the FCC. The FCC, however, still shares part of the blame for simply being a lackey of private enterprise.

    Wired reported on January 25, 2008 that: “During a panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, representatives from those companies discussed the idea of AT&T implementing filters to block unauthorized access to copyrighted material.”

    Radio Ink also reported “”Just last fall, AT&T launched its ‘Smart Limits for Wireless’ initiative, which helps parents protect children from inappropriate calls, texts, and Internet content by allowing them to block numbers they deem inappropriate and filter access to content on their child’s phone.””

    Freepress.net,citing Blumberg news, reported on December 17, 2006 that “The phone companies are backing off a two-year push to get Congress to help them win a bigger chunk of the $68 billion cable-TV market. Instead, they’re shifting their focus to state capitals — nine legislatures have already approved TV-licensing laws — as well as the Federal Communications Commission.

    LSE London South reported AT&T Services (February 28, 2008) that, “The firm lobbied on telecommunications legislation and regulations, according to a disclosure form posted online Monday by the Senate’s public records office. AT&T Services spent $100,000 in the second half of 2007 to lobby on those issues.”

    Clearly, the issue of censorship is not limited to mobile devices and it is not limited to the FCC bogeyman. Corporations, are actively lobbying government seeking regulatory authority to manage (censor/filter) the flow of information wherever and however it may occur.

  • http://www2.blogger.com/profile/14380731108416527657 Steve R.

    Censorship would be wrong, so would the “filtering” of internet content. The “big picture” concern (if phone censorship or net filtering is implemented) is that the flow of content over any transmission medium will be “inspected”, a clear violation of privacy.

    The FCC makes for an “easy target”. After all, FCC Commissioner Tate raised the specter of FCC regulation. But is Commissioner Tate really speaking as an FCC Commissioner or covertly as a person who has fallen under the spell of the lobbying efforts of the telecom industry???

    Anecodtally, based on media articles and the known lobbying efforts of the telecom industry, the “real” impetus for onerous regulation is the telecom industry itself and NOT the FCC. The FCC, however, still shares part of the blame for simply being a lackey of private enterprise.

    Wired reported on January 25, 2008 that: “During a panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, representatives from those companies discussed the idea of AT&T; implementing filters to block unauthorized access to copyrighted material.”

    Radio Ink also reported “”Just last fall, AT&T; launched its ‘Smart Limits for Wireless’ initiative, which helps parents protect children from inappropriate calls, texts, and Internet content by allowing them to block numbers they deem inappropriate and filter access to content on their child’s phone.””

    Freepress.net,citing Blumberg news, reported on December 17, 2006 that “The phone companies are backing off a two-year push to get Congress to help them win a bigger chunk of the $68 billion cable-TV market. Instead, they’re shifting their focus to state capitals — nine legislatures have already approved TV-licensing laws — as well as the Federal Communications Commission.

    LSE London South reported AT&T; Services (February 28, 2008) that, “The firm lobbied on telecommunications legislation and regulations, according to a disclosure form posted online Monday by the Senate’s public records office. AT&T; Services spent $100,000 in the second half of 2007 to lobby on those issues.”

    Clearly, the issue of censorship is not limited to mobile devices and it is not limited to the FCC bogeyman. Corporations, are actively lobbying government seeking regulatory authority to manage (censor/filter) the flow of information wherever and however it may occur.

  • http://www.grandonk.net grandonk

    all data that send and received in mobile phone communications is really private and there is no need a rule to manage it

  • http://www.clubmz.com Bluetooth Mobile Phone Spy

    200% agreed with Steve here Censorship is Totally Wrong its a clear violation of privacy.

  • http://xmartgadgets.com xmartgadgets

    cencorship??? this is free world. Why does anyone want to control everything. The not god. All of us human being….leave us free to do thing we want.

  • http://xmartgadgets.com xmartgadgets

    cencorship??? this is free world. Why does anyone want to control everything. The not god. All of us human being….leave us free to do thing we want.

  • http://xmartgadgets.com xmartgadgets

    cencorship??? this is free world. Why does anyone want to control everything. The not god. All of us human being….leave us free to do thing we want.

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