Wireless Neutrality

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Siva Vaidhyanathan, associate professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia, explains how Verizon banned the abortion rights group, Naral, from using their text messaging services, and then decided to reverse their decision.


Siva Vaidhyanathan

Comments [4]

Siva Vaidhyanathan from Charlottesville, VA

Oh! I hope I did not say that I thought Verizon was right to censor NARAL!

I was merely analyzing the legal situation.

Sep. 27 2007 04:15 PM
Brian from Manhattan

HA! guess Verizon must've just read my post and reversed their decision pronto! :)

Sep. 27 2007 10:53 AM
Brian from Manhattan

I disagree with your guest's position because the recipients of Naral's messages have Opted-In to receive these messages--perhaps your guest should read the MMA's Code of Conduct/Guidelines of which Verizon is a member (

Moreover, how is a text message sent to opt-in subscribers any different than calling them? It is still communication between the same parties communicating the same information. Regardless of whether Verizon likes the topic of conversation, it has no right to prohibit the communication UNLESS the recipients complain about the messages.

Carriers claim their networks are private and different than the Internet, yet their real fear is the very commoditization of their services akin to the Internet.

They want it both ways: "our networks are private, therefore we can control what goes over them" yet a Verizon customer can call or send messages to a Sprint subscriber because of interconnection agreements with other carriers --- the same model as the Internet. If Naral changes to T-Mobile, will Verizon try to block its messsages coming from T-Mobile's network???

This is a ridiculous, politically-driven case and your guest is right---it probably won't garner too many fans and will maybe even cost Verizon some customers.

Sep. 27 2007 10:48 AM
jd from nyc

i found out that Verizon also donates to the Discovery Institute, although when I wrote to them, they claim that none of the money was for the "intelligent design" part of that institutes agenda. accountability and bookeeping, anybody?

this actually sounds like a free speech issue - what's next, getting my phone calls monitored..oh, wait..are they monitoring me typing this too?..oh crap!..

Sep. 27 2007 10:05 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.