AT&T Will Censure Customers Who Comment Negatively against AT&T

Do not bite the hand that feeds you seems to be the case with AT&T’s new terms of agreement. Remember how I previously blogged about the need for consumers to really take the time to read the fine print? Well, this time AT&T has taken censorship to the next level. If you look at the AT&T TOS 5.1(c), you will see that it says ~

152754464_09911c7be2_t.jpg“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.” [highlights are mine]

Can AT&T censor negative comments from its customers? Does this affect your First Amendment right? This reminds me of the Australian Communications Legislation Amendment (Crime or Terrorism Related Internet Content) Bill 2007 that does a similar act (but legislated) that’s awaiting approval. Is this directly against the whole idea behind Net Neutrality?

I can understand organisations, government offices, and schools trying to block certain websites due to how it affects productivity (Examples go as far back as early this year when YouTube was banned in Thailand and Facebook banned from Ontario government offices) but controlling our opinions just because they carry our service? That would be like me complaining about my broadband service that dropped my Skype conference call thrice in the middle of my presentation today.

I think they’ve taken control way too far, what do you think?

5 comments to AT&T Will Censure Customers Who Comment Negatively against AT&T

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  • Maybe that’s their thought of? heaven

  • David its your country’s AT&T and like what Jeffrey says, this is ironic for a communications company. I did see Jon Stewart’s SCHIP episode on the Daily Show and although hilarious when presented, a bit sad. Those who may not have seen this can view it on AOL TV (if you are in the USA). Click here http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_daily_show/index.jhtml for the official website.

  • Extraordinarily unacceptable. I am assuming you are talking about AT&T Canada? Or is this AT&T US? Regardless, how is it possible that they can get away with this? Well, if it’s the US, Congress is wasting their time passing judgement against an ad by MoveON.org (not that I thought the ad was appropriate,) but not able to find time (or votes?) to override Bush’s veto of the SCHIP, which would provide funding for poor children’s health coverage.

    “Or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.”

    ?

    And whom else do we need to be nice to?

  • I agree with your assessment of this. Ironic that a communications corporation will not allow for the free-flow of communication itself, even when its own paying customers wish to engage in it.