The president of ccAdvertising -- the company several reports have linked to anti-Obama text messages that hit cellphones Tuesday night -- defended the texts in an email to C&E, but stopped short of admitting his company was behind them. Asked about the texts in an email on Wednesday, Joseph responded: "Based on what you sent me, it sounds like people are exercising their legal free speech rights under the rules that have been established. I applaud that." Reports of the texts started to spread on Twitter yesterday after they hit the phones of a number of D.C.-based journalists. “Obama is using your tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood and abortions. Is that right?” one of the texts read. “Re-electing Obama puts Medicare at risk,” read another. The messages originated from serveral domains, and domain name searches reveal Jason Flanery and Gabriel Joseph as registrants.
Revolution Messaging's Scott Goodstein has publicly fueded with Joseph over the legality of Internet-to-text messages. And last week the Federal Communications Commission began accepting comments on a petition, filed by Goodstein, that seeks to have Internet-to-phone text messaging declared a type of autodialing.
The technology, which collects cell numbers without consent and then messages them via created email addresses, isn't currently covered under the Technology Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and some consider it a loophole for those who want to spam your cellphone. “That’s the trouble and that’s why the FCC needs to act,” Goodstein said Tuesday night in response to the latest round of texts. “It’s sad to think we’re going back to the days of messaging from political campaigns, coming late at night, that’s untraceable because it’s coming from URLs bought through private domain registrations.”
Update: Joseph responded with a full statement on behalf of ccAdvertising in which he lamented media focus on the anti-Obama texts. Here's the full statement:
In the more than 12 years since its founding and currently, ccAdvertising has scrupulously complied with all laws and regulations affecting its activities. It appears that statements currently being made about ccAdvertising may be largely motivated by partisan political considerations.
We find it interesting that on a day when up to $50 million in television advertising is being transmitted in the battleground states that new media technologies such as that being discussed in the press are getting so much attention.Follow @DaveNyczepir