Censored by Verizon


October 29, 2007
Joshua Breitbart is policy director for People's Production House.

Verizon representatives conceded they would continue to put limits on communication. Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh wondered what the company would do if another applicant for a short code was so unpopular with Verizon customers that granting it access would hurt the bottom line. In that situation, Monica Azare, a Verizon New York senior vice president, said, "We have an obligation to do what is most prudent and in the best interest of all of the shareholders. And we do have an obligation to be a good corporate citizen as well, but we do not have to be the moral compass of the world in making a decision like that."

Ben's take:
If they take it upon themselves to censor messages, they should lose the utility status, and be open to lawsuits for any and all communications carried on their network. That would completely end any meddling. Same applies to providers who don't honor internet equality. (Of course, they'd just try to turn the Internet and phones into cable: one-way communication.)


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