IndyTruth Blog
Terminator: [Eyes] of the Machines 
Sunday, September 30, 2007, 09:49 PM - News
Posted by Administrator
Telecommunications giant AT&T has recently updated its Legal Policy to say "AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service ... for conduct that AT&T believes ... tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries."

Since termination of service "also constitutes termination ... of your license to use any Software," you could also assume the router and any hardware purchased upon installation to be useless. If that isn't enough money to waste, consider the startup cost of a new service, that is if you do not live in a neighborhood such as mine, which is monopolized by the company. Further, imagine if you spent 600 dollars on an iPhone, exclusively available on AT&T's wireless network, before AT&T decided to terminate your service.

As an AT&T customer, I am curious to know what qualifies as "conduct that tends to damage the name or repuation of AT&T." I personally believe it should be the constitutional defenition of slander. But, could speaking the truth be enough for them to terminate your service? Let's find out...

In January of 2006, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T, accusing the company of "violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive, illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications."

"This configuration appears to have the capability to enable surveillance and analysis of internet content on a massive scale, including both overseas and purely domestic traffic," wrote J. Scott Marcus, a former CTO for GTE and a former adviser to the FCC. AT&T has 15 to 20 rooms around the country capable of monitoring nearly 10 percent of purely domestic internet traffic.

USA Today reported in May 2006 that the NSA was "secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth."

One of USA Today's sources called it "the largest database ever assembled in the world," adding that the NSA's goal is "to create a database of every call ever made" within the United States.
The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans — most of whom aren't suspected of any crime. This program does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations. But the spy agency is using the data to analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity, sources said in separate interviews.


USA Today reported that AT&T and the other companies were "working under contract with the NSA."

If AT&T's new termination policy is to quell criticism of its "Big Brother" program, then they could terminate services from Wired, USA Today, countless other mainstream media outlets, the EFF, and IndyTruth. But are these messengers damaging the reputation of AT&T, or is the company damaging its own reputation through its creepy surveillance? Perhaps, AT&T should read its own termination policy and terminate itself.

As always, surveillance programs will not scare me from speaking my mind. Company policies or even U.S. Law will not discourage me from exposing the truth. AT&T and the NSA are illegally spying on American citizens. No spokesman's claim will shroud the crime. No threats of "termination" will suppress the concerned public. Big government and big business will never fully succeed in databasing all human behavior. Liberty will prevail.

Submitted by Douglass.
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