Who “owns” your cellphone service?

❝ If you are somehow under the impression that you — the customer — are in control over the security, privacy and integrity of your mobile phone service, think again…

No, a series of recent court cases and unfortunate developments highlight the sad reality that the wireless industry today has all but ceded control over this vital national resource to cybercriminals, scammers, corrupt employees and plain old corporate greed.

Just one example

❝ On Tuesday, Google announced that an unceasing deluge of automated robocalls had doomed a feature of its Google Voice service that sends transcripts of voicemails via text message.

Google said “certain carriers” are blocking the delivery of these messages because all too often the transcripts resulted from unsolicited robocalls, and that as a result the feature would be discontinued by Aug. 9. This is especially rich given that one big reason people use Google Voice in the first place is to screen unwanted communications from robocalls, mainly because the major wireless carriers have shown themselves incapable or else unwilling to do much to stem the tide of robocalls targeting their customers.

I shan’t say there are no corporations dedicated to greed over anything else. Certainly, there is nothing like the number who would claim to be such. Telcos, in particular – from the earliest operator-based services to solid state whizbangs promising the world from the imitation 5G systems we’ll be limited to in the GOUSA – would have invented corruption if the Old Testament hadn’t beaten them to it.

During Trump’s shutdown, Sheldon Adelman got the gift he wanted


Andrew Harnik/AP Photo — Edited

❝ Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire Republican casino mogul, is associated with a singular political project: his long-running mission to uproot the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and plant it in Jerusalem instead.

But there’s a second project — lower profile, but no less of a passionate priority — that Adelson has long been gunning for, and that’s his war against online gambling. Adelson’s casino empire is comprised of brick-and-mortar establishments, to which online gambling is a major threat, but Adelson says he is at war with online gambling for the good of society: Gambling in casinos is one thing, but gambling online is a public health nightmare.

❝ Adelson’s crusade against online gambling led to an attorney general recusal, tense debates within the Justice Department, and a standoff with the White House that culminated with an extraordinary reversal of policy in the middle of the government shutdown, when the Trump administration issued the legal opinion against online gambling that Adelson had long sought.

RTFA. The swamp imported from Trump Towers dreamland is deeper and filled with the stink of more corruption than the Democrats and Republicans ever thought possible. It only cost Adelman $20 million to buy his share of Trump. He’ll make that back easy-peasy, now.