Feeds

US networks: Political donations by text? Rlly nt a gud idea

We'll be on the hook for profiteering, moan operators

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

American cellular networks are unhappy with a Federal Election Commission decision to permit political donations by text message, despite the fact that such a facility could change politics entirely.

The decision was made by unanimous vote of the FEC last month, and will allow political parties and candidates to accept up to $50 a month, to a total of $200, from anonymous phone numbers. The move could broaden fundraising for increasingly expensive US elections, but Reuters tells us the cellular companies have asked the FEC for assurances they won't be held liable when it all goes horribly wrong.

Political donations in the US have to be reported if they exceed $200, but network operators are worried they'll end up being responsible for policing that cap - for ensuring that donors aren't just buying a dozen pay-as-you-go SIMs and dropping $200 on each of them to avoid making their donation public.

Not only that, but operators taking a cut of the messaging fee stand accused of political profiteering, while those who don't (by waving the fee as the operators do for some charities) are guilty of contributing to political parties that might be supported by their customers but perhaps not so popular among their shareholders.

So the network operators have, via the CTIA, asked the FEC to clarify exactly who would be responsible for what if the donation-by-text became a reality.

The idea of text donations is to open campaign coffers to the ordinary American who might be convinced to throw a couple of dollars into the (virtual) bucket, but wouldn't want to fill out a credit card form or set up a regular payment.

Proponents reckon it'll lead to greater democracy, as politicians are always answerable to those who fund them it makes sense for that funding to come from as broader base as possible, assuming the legal issues can be resolved, but fitting that within the existing legislation could prove a challenge too far. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.