AT&T Just Kidding About Cutting Off Critics
It’s nice to see AT&T isn’t immune to some heat. The company is reportedly revising its Terms of Service (ToS) agreement after it appeared AT&T reserved the right to terminate service of those critical of them.
Originally, the language read that AT&T could terminate or suspend services for conduct they believed tended "to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries."
As written, it seems to imply that if you talk trash about them, they can cut you off. This didn’t exactly help them during a time when many are keeping close watch on the company as an information gatekeeper.
Other recent also events belied the company’s denial of a need for protection against corporate (more specifically, backbone providers) influence on the accessibility of online properties and information, otherwise known as Net Neutrality principles.
A nod and hardy "good job" is owed Ken Fisher and ArsTechnica for both breaking the story and pulling AT&T to the table to explain itself. And, well, they did more apologizing and promising to fix it than they did explaining.
An AT&T spokesperson said the language would be revised and was adamant that, "We have never and will never terminate a customer’s service for criticizing AT&T."
Fisher seems pleased, too, that voices in blogosphere count for something…now if we could just get the federal government to lend us an ear — you know, without Ma Bell listening in for them.