Network Neutrality and AT&T
|The fight over Net Neutrality - the idea that Internet providers should remain neutral regarding the information or applications served over their networks, has been dealt an explicit blow in the new AT&T terms of service, as brought to my attention in a Boing-Boing post by Cory Doctorow. Paragraph 5.1 of this document warns that service can be cut "for conduct AT&T believes tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries."|
So AT&T customers aren't allowed to write/podcast/vlog critical things about AT&T, its billing-practices, or its cooperation with illegal NSA wiretapping, on pain of having their connections disconnected.Generally we've thought of this issue in terms of what services and programming would be available over a vendor's pipeline. But when a major corporation like AT&T simply protects its own reputation -- at first glance an irreproachable act -- the freedom to communicate over the net is significantly compromised.
The wikipedia article on Network Neutrality gives a nice introductory survey to this issue.
Labels: net neutrality