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A new FCC proposal on spam texts empowers companies instead of consumers

THE FEDERAL Communications Commission kicked off the holiday season by handing Americans a gift: a tougher line not only on robocalls but also on robotexts. Some consumer groups, however, are looking this horse in the mouth — and they may be right.

The FCC announced in November that it plans formally to classify text messaging, currently of indeterminate regulatory status, in the same category as high-speed Internet. Proponents claim the change will help wireless carriers stop unwanted communications from flooding customers’ cellphones. But as critics point out, moving text messaging to a regulation-light realm could also allow companies arbitrarily to block even legitimate communications.

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