About this Author
Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @

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May 02, 2005

Opening Networks to Censorship in Order to Keep Them Closed

Posted by Ernest Miller

On Freedom to Tinker, Ed Felten discerns the real reason that mobile phone companies are looking into self-regulation with regard to indecent ringtones and what not (Mobile Network Providers Flirt with (Self-)Regulation). Felten is writing in response to this Reuters wirestory (Ratings System in Works for Wireless Content). As Felten rightly notes, this isn't about self-censorship due to fear of the FCC as much as it is about inviting regulation by the FCC in order to maintain the mobile phone networks as closed networks.

Comments (2) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Freedom of Expression | Telecomm


1. Ed Felten on May 2, 2005 10:42 AM writes...

Actually, I don't think they want to be regulated by the FCC. I think they want to use the apparent threat of FCC regulation as an excuse to impose competition-stifling regulation on themselves.

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2. Ernest Miller on May 2, 2005 11:24 AM writes...

I probably should have been more clear in my short post. As far as I can tell, the FCC isn't looking at regulating indecency on mobile phone services at all. Nor is Congress, which is considering regulating cable networks. Mobile phone companies may not really want FCC regulation, but they want to raise the issue and make it look as if they are avoiding it. They want to invite the FCC to look into it, to make noises about it, in order to maintain closed networks.

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