Tuesday, October 2, 2007

ATT drops free speech

ATT's slogan is "fewest dropped calls," but that may not apply to people who have anything bad to say about the company. Slashdot is reporting that ATT is reserving the right to cut off service to people that paint the company in a negative light:

"AT&T's new Terms of Service give AT&T the right to suspend your account and all service "for conduct that AT&T believes"..."(c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries." After cooperating with the government's violations of privacy and liberties, I guess AT&T wants their fair share. AT&T users may want to think twice about commenting if they value their internet service."

Of course, it's not the first time ATT has cut the cord on free speech. At Lollapalooza over the summer, ATT censored some of Pearl Jam's lyrics during a webcast. ATT at first blamed the incident on an over zealous censor it had hired, but that story was knocked down after other bands came forward to report they had been censored as well. This leads to a larger question: should ATT and other telecoms be allowed to determine which traffic is prioritized on the web? They've argued they will protect free speech, but when things like this creep up it's hard to take them at their word. It's a big reason FMC supports net neutrality.


Anonymous said...

Verizon has had the same provision for a long time. See

Anonymous said...