T-Mobile USA Sued for Blocking Text Messages
Published on: 19th Sep 2010
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
T Mobile USA is facing a lawsuit after blocking text messages which has raised issues of freedom of speech in the USA. The company is accused of blocking messages sent by a New York based bulk messaging company Ez Texting after it claimed one of the clients provides information on how to use marijuana for medical purposes.
Marijuana is illegal in New York, but not medical use is permitted in some States.
In its lawsuit, Ez Texting says that T-Mobile blocked access to its mobile network after learning of an Ez client of which T-Mobile "did not approve". The client which trades as WeedMaps, describes itself as "a community where medical marijuana patients connect with other patients in their geographic region to freely discuss and review local cannabis co-operatives, dispensaries, medical doctors, and delivery services."
However, Ez Texting itself says that it had blocked the customer from sending messages after it had concerns about T-Mobile's reaction, despite the customer saying that it only sends messages to States where its activities are legal.
Ez Texting says that it will go out of business if access to the T-Mobile network isn't restored.
Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of digital rights lobbyists, Public Knowledge, said: "This case is yet another example of a totally arbitrary decision by a carrier to block text message calls between consumers and organizations they want to communicate with. The FCC should put a fast end to this blocking by issuing the ruling we asked them for three years ago. EZ Texting and other companies should be able to focus on growing their business rather than filing lawsuits to prevent blocking."