"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Monday, October 01, 2007

AT&T Contracted Censorship

AT&T has a new terms of service for its subscribers that basically declares that if you speak will of the company they can terminate your service.

"AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes ... tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries."

Key words is "believes" and "damages...AT&T". Problem with the world "believes" in legal documentation is its wide open for interpretation and can include anything and everything under the sun including this point.

I am not worried though, between AT&T's war on net neutrality, general bad business practices, price gouging, poor customer service and so on, I have and hope to avoid ever being their customer. I want an iPhone but its not worth dealing with AT&T.

Realistically, I doubt this will be enforced (unless you just generally piss people off at AT&T say with lawsuits) but if its not something they tend to actively enforce why have it at all and why in those terms? Why do they create terms that police what the customers may or may not say about the company? All in all its just bad customer relations, but being a virtual monopoly with congress in the back pocket, I guess it doesn't matter.

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