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The Telecom Digest for July 6, 2013
Volume 32 : Issue 147 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
F.C.C. Is Told Verizon Underpaid Data Refunds (Monty Solomon)
140 Characters Spell Charges and Jail (Monty Solomon)

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Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2013 00:04:49 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: F.C.C. Is Told Verizon Underpaid Data Refunds Message-ID: <p06240839cdfaa4c29b06@[]> F.C.C. Is Told Verizon Underpaid Data Refunds By EDWARD WYATT July 2, 2013 WASHINGTON - An independent telecommunications lawyer filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday, claiming that Verizon Wireless had vastly understated the amount it collected from false data charges on customer bills when it agreed to refund the levies in 2010. The lawyer, Arthur V. Belendiuk, of Washington, said in a petition for investigation that Verizon and F.C.C. documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request contained evidence indicating that the company might have taken $240 million or more from the false charges, more than four times the almost $53 million it agreed to refund. A Verizon spokesman, Torod B. Neptune, said that the allegations were without merit, and declined to comment further. F.C.C. officials and the Office of the Inspector General declined to comment. The Verizon charges came to light in 2009 in articles in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer and The New York Times. Thousands of Verizon Wireless customers had been complaining about mysterious $1.99 data charges on their cellphone bills. The customers said they had not used the Internet connection function on their phones; some demonstrated to Verizon employees that the charges had occurred randomly, often when the phone was turned off or the battery removed, and at times on accounts that did not have a phone capable of connecting to the Internet. The F.C.C.'s enforcement bureau investigated and in October 2010 reached a consent decree with Verizon. The company agreed to pay $52.8 million in refunds to customers and a payment of $25 million to the United States Treasury to end the investigation. At the time, it was the largest such payment in F.C.C. history, the agency said. The F.C.C. found that about 15 million pay-as-you-go customers could have been affected by the false charges over a period of about 30 months. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/business/fcc-is-told-verizon-underpaid-data-refunds.html
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2013 00:05:43 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: 140 Characters Spell Charges and Jail Message-ID: <p0624083acdfaa4f7a75b@[]> 140 Characters Spell Charges and Jail By ROBBIE BROWN July 2, 2013 One night last summer, Jarvis Britton of Birmingham, Ala., sent out a series of Twitter messages that he later described as "stupid" jokes. Prosecutors did not think they were funny. "Let's Go Kill the President," wrote Mr. Britton, who is 26 and unemployed. "I think we could get the president with cyanide! #MakeItSlow." When Secret Service agents showed up at his house to question him, Mr. Britton said he had been drunk and apologized. But in September, he posted another round of death threats against President Obama and was arrested. Last month, he was sentenced to a year in federal prison. "Because of the repeated threats on Twitter, we took him seriously," said Joyce White Vance, the United States attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, who prosecuted the case. Mr. Britton was the latest in a recent series of social media users to overstep the boundary of legal free speech and face jail time for threatening the president's life. Last month, a Twitter user in Charlotte, N.C., Donte Jamar Sims, was sentenced to six months for posting "Ima assassinate president Obama this evening!" among other threats. And Daniel Temple of Columbus, Ohio, is awaiting sentencing for saying on Twitter that he was "coming to kill" the president and "killing you soon." A Secret Service spokesman, Brian Leary, said social media are increasingly useful for finding and tracking threats. In 2011, the agency created the @SecretService account, to let users report suspicious tweets. And a group of agents, called the Internet Threat Desk, focuses specifically on threats posted online. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/03/us/felony-counts-and-jail-in-140-characters.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** This makes me very uncomfortable. There is a very fine line between "I'm going to kill Obama" and "I'm going to kill Obama at the polls", and Uncle Sam has shown that he is sometimes unable to discern just where that line is. Bill Horne Moderator
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