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October 01, 2007


This is simply to make sure that the cretinous AT&T had not censured comments from appearing on this thread. there had not been any, so I was worried.....

One supposes the telephone company will have to buy its technology from the nationalized telco in France, now that during the interegnum in which dereg held sway 1996-2006 it sold its a-plus lab of innovators to Alcatel. If one were to recoin the post as an impertinent film metaphor, maybe the final camera shot in a Coburn film which made theater rounds 40 years ago, 'The President's Analyst', would provide a parallel; with a little skimming, the plot denouement in the final minutes is available in the filmography thread there.

What does that old Twilight Zone program say?

~We control the vertical, we control the horizonal, you are entering the Twilight Zone.~

... and you better not alter your iPhone either or we will punish you.

Silencing whistle blowers. Good thing that can't also liquidate them. A competent FCC would void these sorts of "non-use" terms. This one never will. One more item to add to the Democrats clean up list. That cliche about diverting a river to clean up the Bush government stables continues to apply; even Potomac water would be cleaner.

That was the Outer Limits. "Do not attempt to touch your dial. We control the horizontal. We control the vertical..."

Earl - "Picture this if you will" (now that is Twilight Zone) the Love Canal would be cleaner.

So I brought this up as an issue over the Verizon / NARAL text-messaging fluff last week. Do carriers really want to get into the business of censoring communications carried on their networks? If they take this stance, aren't they forfeiting their claim for common-carrier safe harbor from liability?

e.g. imagine this scenario: AT&T set up automated voice monitoring on all of their phone lines. AT&T says to Alice, "We've determined that you're using your phone to complain about us, so we're cutting you off." They terminate Alice's phone service. Meanwhile, Bob and Charlie use AT&T long-distance to plan a bank heist. AT&T does nothing to stop Bob or Charlie. The robbery goes off as planned, and Charlie shoots Dan the bank guard on the way out the door,

Is AT&T liable to Dan for failing to take action to prevent the injury? Is AT&T liable to the bank or its investors for failing to prevent the crime?

If AT&T turns its records over to local law enforcement, who arrest Bob and/or Charlie, is AT&T liable to Bob or Charlie for an invasion of privacy or illegal wiretapping claim?

The bank robbery is perhaps the most simplistic scenario. I can also think of problems arising from distribution of copyrighted material over the AT&T internet, or wire fraud, or ...

I am agog. Are you telling us that a company from which you purchase a service is able to censor any critical comments you might make about their service or other behaviour (eg, political)? Am I reading that correctly?

I'm in Ontario; I get all three services (phone, internet, satellite TV) from one SP, which maybe I'm not gonna name here (hands across the border and all that). The provider often annoys most of us for many reasons; I regularly write mean notes about them to a message board I frequent, and I have lots of company. Gosh -- I can't believe we have an AUP, but ... but ... If we do, boy am I in trouble.

Of course, I'm probably getting y'all in trouble with your NSA just by communicating with you from a foreign country.

Tekel - I have always considered the phone companies to be complicit in 1-900 number scams, where they pocket a percentage of the outrageous fees that the gullibile run up listening to psychics, or "discreet" billing of certain services to your phone bill, or boiler room scams aimed at senior citizens. Seems to me like there could be a good class action there against a deep-pocketed co-conspirator which claims the right to monitor to what goes on through their wires, but are wilfully blind when they are in for a cut.

That sinister proviso is no doubt designed to censor the upcoming deluge of traffic after legislation is introduced to let ATT off the hook for their criminal actions in spying on Americans.

ATT is a foul and malignant entity. If you call ATT's customer service, odds are you'll end up speaking with someone in Manila or Bombay who resents the fact you can't understand their english accent. More to the point, they intentionally give you the run-around in hopes you'll give up trying. That is a fact. "We're ATT. We don't care because we don't have to" is their motto. They are the black hole of decent service.

After a decade with ATT, I switched over to Comcast a few years ago. It was night and day. Comcast customer service has been uniformly excellent- courteous, efficient, and fast. Their operators are based in America. Their service may cost a few dollars a month more, but it's been worth every cent as far as I'm concerned.

AT&T's actions are classical repressive monopoly captitalism. I had thought about getting an iphone when my contract runs out with Sprint, but frankly, this kills it. My Treo works well enough and AT&T stinks. AT&T should really be divided up again, or better yet, nationalized as a public utility.

Hmmmm they probably sit in the back pockets of the wheelers and dealers behind the "Screen"...the ones that are reaping the almighty dollar while the rest of us are asleep at the wheel. I dispise Time Warner...I call them theives all the time. Even write nasty things to them on their bills, there is no Customer Service in this country anymore...haven't you seen it go by the wayside?

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