November 2, 2012
The Human Rights Campaign Wednesday called on federal authorities to launch an investigation into a Republican leaning telecommunications company at the heart of an anti-Obama text message controversy, charging the company had defrauded cellphone users who had received the messages. Following a series of anti-Obama text messages received on Tuesday night — some of which addressed the president’s record on LGBT issues — HRC, the nation’s largest LGBT political group, asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the company, The company, ccAdvertising, has not admitted to sending the messages. But the dummy sites used to send the messages were registered to company executives. Additionally, one of those executives — Gabe Joseph — is known for using questionable tactics, according to Republican operatives familiar with his past activities. BuzzFeed has reported that the “email-to-text technology” apparently employed by the sender of the messages — which sends emails to cell phones in the form of SMS messages — allowed the firm to deliver unsolicited texts from web domains rather than phone numbers, all the while skirting existing Federal Communications Commission regulations. Although there are rules against sending unsolicited, traditional SMS messages, because they were technically emails, they fall outside current FCC regulations. An FCC spokesperson told BuzzFeed that, for now, the “question is open in front of the Commission.”