Texas Moon

October 24, 2008, 5:05 pm
Filed under: Glen Rose | Tags:

Mysterious Anti-Obama Text Spam Slams Cellphones

By Sarah Lai Stirland EmailOctober 23, 2008 | 3:49:09 PMCategories: Election ’08  

Voters in Ohio have begun receiving mysterious Amber Alert-style text messages urging them to dial a recorded announcement about Barack Obama, and to forward the spam to everyone they know.

“You will lose your freedoms this November 4th if you don’t know” the “facts,” the message warns.

Upon dialing the number — 641-715-3900, ext. 83682 — an anonymous announcer recites the McCain-Palin campaign’s frequent assertion that Barack Obama “worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers,” and that if elected, Obama would enact an “extreme leftist agenda.” That’s followed by an audio excerpt from a Fox News broadcast about Obama’s connections to voter-registration nonprofit ACORN. (For more on both subjects and their veracity, check out Factcheck.org here and here.)

Some voters are steamed because they have to pay for the text messages that arrive on their cellphones, and there’s no apparent way to remove oneself from the spammer’s database. Neither the text message nor the recording identify the culprit. The phone number belongs to a voicemail company called SimpleVoiceBox that provides voicemail boxes to anyone who wants one. Dialing different extensions produces a wide range of recordings belonging to businesses and groups.

Ohio doesn’t regulate robocalls, and federal do-not-call laws apply only to commercial messages, or calls with messages soliciting donations for charities.

Michael Goldfarb, a McCain spokesman, says that the messages are “not from this campaign and not from the RNC. We have no connection to this, and no knowledge as to its provenance.”

Whoever set this scheme up might have gleaned the idea from Ron Paul supporters, who are still using the same voicemail company to deliver recorded messages from McCain’s primary rival.

If you’re irritated by this sneaky spam campaign, check out this post from the New York

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