AT&T Building Censorship into New Terms of Sevice

attcensored.jpg

From slashdot:

marco13185 writes “AT&T’s new Terms of Service give AT&T the right to suspend your account and all service “for conduct that AT&T believes”…”(c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.” After cooperating with the government’s violations of privacy and liberties, I guess AT&T wants their fair share. AT&T users may want to think twice about commenting if they value their internet service.”

I’d say this adjustment to the their Terms of Service damages the name and reputation of AT&T, its parents, affiliates, and subsidiaries. A brand is a difficult thing to build, and AT&T appears to be doing a great job of marketing their new brand as a censored communications firm.

(original image from AT&T)

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5 Responses

  1. I provide you with X service under my own free will. You agree under Y terms for the receipt of said service. You and I may both break that agreement, entered into by our own free will, at any point in time that we see fit… provided it does not violate the agreements Y (unless fraud or force has been involved of course). It may not be preferable to you, and indeed I myself find it rather distasteful, but I seek no action to force them to help spread any slander against them. I am no more obligated to rent you a bullhorn from my bullhorn stand so you may stand in front of it and denounce my bullhorn service.

    Again you socialist goons make the assumption that your wants outweigh property rights, liberty, and rights to life.

  2. Except these types of clauses get buried miles deep inside the small print of contracts, how can you agree to something if you don’t understand what that something is? Not really arms length negotiations. Also these agreements tend to spread to all companies, they become industry standards which means all your cell phone service becomes useless, and if everybody is doing it, what recourse do you have left?

  3. […] AT&T Building Censorship into New Terms of Sevice […]

  4. Darrin,
    Sigh. You aren’t making any sense here. I’m criticizing the company for censoring its customers. I’m allowed to do that, right comrade? And the question is, if all the companies do this, are we no longer free to be critical?
    Just because it is a company committing censorship, that doesn’t make it magically right, while if a government does the same thing, its wrong. Censorship is wrong period. And hell yes I will work to stop companies from doing it.

    Rafael,
    A very good point. And existing customers often have limited options about changing. Now they need to pay money to break their contract, since all the telcos insist on signing a loyalty oath with a monetary penalty. And what if they are the only gig in town? With no competition, its either sign up and shut up, or you don’t get service. How would that be right?
    Rafael’s point on this becoming a standard is right on, and it cuts your argument down quite cleanly.

  5. Also I think that Darrin is one of those libertarians who seems to misunderstand what property rights are all about. Just read the Constitution and see what I mean.

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