CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey recently joined 18 other states in asking the Federal Communications Commission to maintain restrictions on commercial text messages.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the attorneys general requested the commission preserve current regulations protecting consumers from spam and phishing text messages.
The 19-state bipartisan letter follows a petition to the FCC by Twilo Inc., a cloud communications company, seeking certain relief related to activities of wireless carriers. More specifically, the company asked the commission to impose new regulatory structures that would allow entities to engage in less controlled high-volume messaging campaigns.
While wireless carriers do not block text messages from one person to another, providers do limit unwanted commercial text messages.
“Existing safeguards and filters allow wireless carriers to block spam messages,” Morrisey said in a statement. “Reducing those restrictions would allow legitimate companies and bogus entities to mass message people without limits on quantity or content, creating an annoying free-for-all and increasing consumers’ susceptibility to scams and fraud.”
Many users prefer text messaging and businesses increasingly depend on similar services to connect with consumers. This high level of consumer trust and popularity also makes messaging incredibly attractive to those hoping to engage in unwanted, illegal and malicious acts.
Morrisey signed the letter along with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden, and attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.