When I attended some of the RNC protests on Tuesday (Link to BoingBoing post), I was depending on txtmob. It was invaluable for staying safe and developing effective protest strategies and tactics.Following text snipped from a TxTMOB update to subscribers with Subject: TxTMob UPDATE: Post RNC, issued September 3:
Right around 5:30 or 6, just as things started to heat up around me, I stopped getting SMS, just like that. I thought it was rather suspicious, but was willing to concede that it could be some technology malfunction. There were more SMSes going out than usual, for the region, and I thought maybe it was an overload. It blew any opportunities I had to effectively co-ordinate with the legal, and civil, RNC protests. So now, as it turns out -- say the txtmob people -- it wasn't technology, it was T-Mobile (my now ex-carrier). Highlighted text below, from the txtmob dispatch: "T-Mobile blocked TXTmob messages during a portion of the RNC. "
My only question is, WTF? Since when does T-Mobile decide which messages are ok, and which aren't? What, in my contract with them, specifies that they can decide which messages I am allowed to get? Who told who to block which messages? I'm no lawyer, but those seem like the kinds of questions that lawyers are interested in.
Finally, a note for T-Mobile customers: As many of you are aware, T-Mobile blocked TXTmob messages during a portion of the RNC. While we won't speculate on the reasons for this action, it would be extremely helpful if the hundreds of customers who were unable to receive TXTMob messages called T-Mobile to complain. Be sure to explain that TXTMob is an opt-in service that you have chosen to join, and to encourage their representatives to contact email@example.com if they have any questions.Link to TxTMOB website, and link to related CNN story about the role of phone-text services in protests at the convention.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.