Verizon Rejects Messages of Abortion Rights Group – New York Times
Saying it had the right to block “controversial or unsavory” text messages, Verizon Wireless has rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon’s mobile network available for a text-message program.
The other leading wireless carriers have accepted the program, which allows people to sign up for text messages from Naral by sending a message to a five-digit number known as a short code.
Update: Verizon recants:
Verizon Reverses Itself on Abortion Messages
By ADAM LIPTAK
Saying it had the right to block “controversial or unsavory” text messages, Verizon Wireless last week rejected a request from Naral Pro-Choice America, the abortion rights group, to make Verizon’s mobile network available for a text-message program.
But the company reversed course this morning, saying it had made a mistake.
“The decision to not allow text messaging on an important, though sensitive, public policy issue was incorrect, and we have fixed the process that led to this isolated incident,” Jeffrey Nelson, a company spokesman, said in a statement.
While Verizon might have the right to decide what text messages are carried over their (private) network, this is authoritarian and smacks of censorship.
My ganking of the quote from “Alpha Centauri” is slowly becoming more prescient. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams yourself your master.
And that’s true for governments and corporations alike.