AT&T will shut off your service if you report they break the law

October 1, 2007 at 10:23 pm | Posted in AT&T, internet | Leave a comment

And AT&T just changed its acceptable use policy to prevent you from using AT&T’s Toobz to tell others about the bad things AT&T is doing (via boing boing).

Failure to observe the guidelines set forth in this AUP may result in AT&T taking actions anywhere from a warning to a suspension of privileges or termination of your Service(s). When feasible, AT&T may provide you with notice of an AUP violation, via Email or otherwise, and demand that such violation be immediately corrected. AT&T reserves the right, however, to act immediately and without notice to suspend or terminate Service(s) in response to a court order or other legal requirement that certain conduct be stopped or when AT&T determines, in its sole discretion, that the conduct may (1) expose AT&T to sanctions, prosecution or civil action, (2) cause harm to or interfere with the integrity or normal operations of AT&T’s network(s) or facilities, (3) materially or repeatedly interfere with another person’s use of AT&T’s Service(s) or the Internet (4) damage or disparage the reputation of AT&T or its Service(s), or (5) otherwise present a risk of harm to AT&T or AT&T’s customers , employees, officers, directors, or agents.


You are prohibited from engaging in any other activity, illegal or not, that AT&T determines in its sole discretion, to be harmful to its subscribers, operations, network(s), reputation, goodwill, or customer relations.

Can they get away with this?

Back in June, the Bush Administration invited one of AT&T’s key lobbyists, Ed Gillespie, to serve as White House counselor. A few weeks after that, BushCo expanded AT&T’s resident lobbyist’s role to include most of Karl Rove’s portfolio. Just days after Gillespie took over that role, the DOJ made an unusual intervention into the FCC’s request for comments on Net Neutrality, weighing against Net Neutrality.

Well today, one of AT&T’s former key attorneys, Peter Keisler, just took over the Department of Justice.

FCC to regulate US Internet Traffic? Please, say it ain’t so

September 30, 2007 at 1:33 pm | Posted in fcc, internet | Leave a comment

The Child Safe Viewing Act of 2007, or S. 602, which originally was introduced by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in February, was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation earlier this month and now is headed to the full Senate floor.While S. 602 ostensibly is designed to spur the development of “the next generation of parental control technology,” an analyst from a government watchdog group recently warned that the bill also could serve to expand the reach of the FCC’s regulatory powers to include oversight of content transmitted via cable, satellite and Internet platforms.

Telephone companies seek retroactive immunity for assisting warrantless wiretapping

September 23, 2007 at 5:44 am | Posted in civil liberties, internet | Leave a comment

Sept. 20, 2007 – The nation’s biggest telecommunications companies, working closely with the White House, have mounted a secretive lobbying campaign to get Congress to quickly approve a measure wiping out all private lawsuits against them for assisting the U.S. intelligence community’s warrantless surveillance programs.

Net Neutrality

September 23, 2007 at 12:22 am | Posted in internet, legislation | Leave a comment

Your cable or phone company  sends you a monthly statement in which it asks you to choose your new level of service

  • Internet Basic Service $29/month
    • Over 80% of websites
  • Internet Advanced Service
    • Internet Basic Service + Google and Yahoo $39/month
  • Internet Premium Service
    • Advanced Service + AIM + Youtube + Myspace + blog access $49/month

    In the absence of net neutrality, certain services may be blocked or cost more to access. This digg of the day in September, 2007 explains it best.

    Network neutrality (equivalently “net neutrality”, “Internet neutrality” or “NN”) refers to a principle that is applied to residential broadband networks, and potentially to all networks. Precise definitions vary, but a broadband network free of restrictions on the kinds of equipment that may be attached and the modes of communication allowed, and where communication was not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams would be considered neutral by most advocates.

    Wikipedia Introduction

    Some people argue that if your network provider charges too much or blocks certain services, you should just change provider. Now seriously, how many choices for broadband do have at home 0, 1 or 2?

    The FTC (Federal Trade Commission)

    Deborah Platt Majoras, the FTC’s Republican chairman, said extensive Net neutrality legislation currently pending in the U.S. Senate is unnecessary because there has been no demonstrated harm to consumers, that normal market forces would likely prevent any problems, and that new laws would cause more problems than they solve.

    There has been no demonstrated harm to consumers – thats because tiered pricing is not in place yet

    normal market forces would likely prevent any problems how many choices for broadband providers do you have?

    new laws would cause more problems than they solve – the new law would retain the status quo, how would that create new problems?

    Compliance with the law would essentially not impose any new burden on the telcos. If the law is not in place then the telco’s will gladly install hundreds of millions of dollars worth of hardware in order to charge you more for premium services. Don’t think these premium services are something new and great that the telcos are working on, we’re talking about services that you use today that consume more network bandwidth than other services you use today, streaming video (youtube, cnn) are high bandwidth.

    If you get your internet access from your telephone company would it want to block your VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provider such as Vonage?

    Senator: Net neutrality push ain’t over yet

    September 17, 2007 12:20 PM PDT
    Led primarily by Democrats, the push to enact a law prohibiting broadband providers from charging content providers extra fees for priority placement or faster delivery failed last year in both chambers of a Republican-controlled Congress. Since then, no significant action has occurred on the legislative front, and recently, both the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice argued no new laws are needed.

    Crooks and Liars

    Bruce Kushnick’s new book, “The $200 Billion Broadband Scandal” — it’s a powerful critique documenting the trail of broken promises and misinformation perpetrated by many broadband service providers in order to get favorable treatment, special dispensation, and competition-free access to residents across the United States. One of the most damning indictments, that United States residents have already paid for upgrades to our existing broadband infrastructure — being charged for services never delivered — and not a small amount either, but actually to the tune of $200,000,000,000. When you break it down, that’s roughly a $2,000 refund for every household that’s due for contractual obligations never fulfilled.

    Kushnick’s “$200 Billion Broadband Scandal” says the government was promised 86 million households with fiber wiring delivering bi-directional 45 Mbps speeds, capable of handling 500 channels by 2006. He calls it a fraud case, with deft omission in the annals of the FCC, that cost households at least $2000 a piece but got nothing in return.

    Non-profit group Public Knowledge laments the current situation, calling it a “duopoly” that does not provide real competition. It’s because consumers don’t have many options that some form of Net Neutrality provisions are necessary, according to the group’s Art Brodsky. “Federal Communications Commission (FCC) statistics showing that just about everyone who has broadband gets it from either the telephone company or the cable company,” he writes. “The FCC has affirmatively pursued the policy of creating this situation, and it’s one of the main reasons we need a Net Neutrality policy. There is no real choice.”

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