Sunday, November 11, 2007

AT&T threatens to disconnect subscribers who criticize the company

 It has come to light that AT&T has rolled out new Terms of Service for its DSL service that restricts users, while leaving the proof as a rather abstract concept.  Here's the skinny, "…In section 5 of its legal ToS, AT&T stipulates the following:

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 (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.

The Translation: "conduct" that AT&T "believes" "tends to damage" its name, or the name of its partners, can get you booted off the service. Note the use of "tends to damage": the language of the contract does not require any proof of any actual damage."  Nice, so much for free speech!  So AT&T can terminate your service regardless of what proof they have, they only need to hate "your cause".   Plus who has time to look up ALL of their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries. And who are they?