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Text and Multimedia Messaging: Issues for Congress

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Citation Edit

Patricia Moloney Figliola & Gina Stevens, Text and Multimedia Messaging: Issues for Congress (CRS Report RL34632) (Jan. 12, 2012) (full-text).

Overview Edit

For congressional policymakers, two major categories of issues have arisen: (1) "same problem, different platform" and (2) issues stemming from the difficulty in applying existing technical definitions to a new service, such as whether a text message is sent "phone-to-phone" or using the phone’s associated email address.

The increasing use of text and multimedia messaging has raised several policy issues: distracted driving, SMS spam, the inability of consumers to disable text messaging, text messaging price fixing, carrier blocking of common short code messages, deceptive and misleading common short code programs, protecting children from inappropriate content on wireless devices, "sexting," mobile cyberbullying, privacy of text messages, and using SMS to support law enforcement and emergency response.

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