2006/06/21

AT&T Says: "Privacy? What's That?"

In the wake of the EFF lawsuit challenging AT&T's big giveaway of customer information to NSA, the telco has decided to protect their ass at the expense of their customers, with a new privacy policy.

Now I know that all of my readers scrutinize every detail of those policies. So you don't really some paranoid frog to translate for you, but just in case your that one reader who doesn't, here's the famous Blognonymous Plain Language Interpretation -
  • "While your account information may be personal to you, these records constitute business records that are owned by AT&T... As such, AT&T may disclose such records to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."

    Read: We'll give up your data whenever feel like for whatever reason we feel like. (I should note that this section used to end, ...to the extent permitted by law.)
  • "[AT&T] ...may also use your information in order to investigate, prevent or take action regarding illegal activities, suspected fraud (or) situations involving potential threats to the physical safety of any person"

    Read: In cases where the government wants us to bend over and do their work for them, we will. And if you don't like it? Tough! (Ah a merging of telco and the police. Convenient, huh?)
And just to make sure that you agree, this policy is now a condition of service. In other words, if you don't agree, your only recourse is to not do business with AT&T.

F*ck me! I really like my DSL.

Addendum:

Windspike responds...in verse!

19 Comments:

I have a Verizon wifi card for my laptop, I hate AT&T, have posted on it many times. The bit about keeping track of your viewing habits disturbs me. A back door way to deal with pornography and the ability to blackmail people into whatever.

I hate monopolies.
O! The tightening of the screws across the board!

Damn it is hard to sleep with the incessant pressure of a screw entering into my rib cage and cranium!

nice post, kvatch!
It is very much in line with the privatisation aspirations of the neo-cons don't you think?
I can just see big government slowly giving way to miniscule government, as private industry is progressively drawn into the functions of government, eventually absorbing them almost entirely.
The notion has its bright spots, given competition policy remains. Perhaps you will be able to switch service providers if you are not happy with your current private government.
Hey AT & T, you know me
Hey AT & T, Yeah, you know me
And the night I lost my security
To the NSA driven corporatocracy
I just might have to feed the conspiracy
Led by Rove and his mercenaries
And a reichwing army sent to bleed
All our freedoms and civil liberties

Whew...that just typed right out of my fingers as I thunk it....my goodness...I'll have to cross post.
Oh my.

wish I was surprised.

bugger and blast,
shite, once again
we're fuct.

sighed
Sibling Claymore of Enlightened Compassion (being UU, had to try THAT link....)
WS...awesome! The best verse often comes out of the hands as if inspired by a muse. Cross-post and I'll link to it.

Cartledge my friend, I think that you're on to something there. "Private government" like pebble nuclear reactors, small and hopefully less dangerous, able to do less damage when they go critical--self regulating. I like it.

TPM...thanks, though now I don't know WTF I'm supposed to do. I freakin' hate Comcast.

Debra, yeah the viewing habit stuff is Orwellian, now I guess I'll have to wait on IPTV as well.
we're fuct.

sighed
Sibling Claymore of Enlightened Compassion (being UU, had to try THAT link....)


No sh*t!

- Kvatch (aka The Garrote of Courteous Debate) :-)
I'm screwed too since AT&T bought out my regional baby bell.

The new privacy policy doesn't surprise me. I wrote them about 6-8 weeks ago and asked them point blank if they gave information about my account to the Feds. I not only didn't hear from them, I didn't even get an automated response. Grrr...

Gee, I wonder if thousands of us wrote and demanded answers?
Does this mean they have records of all my visits to farmgirls.com? I was only there to look at the tractors, really I was!
Well, you saved me a bunch of reading and head scratching. Thanks.
Kathy...me too. SBC got bought by--I mean bought--I mean...whatever. It's AT&T now.

Ron, no only do they have those records, but Alberto is pouring over them right now trying to figure out how to nab you for yer deviant tractor-fetish habits.

Julien...what am I here for, eh?
i going to ditch my computer and it is a string and a cup for my phone needs
I remember when MaBell was forced to break up. Looks like she's coming back together.

The only solution is to cancel the service if it is at all feasible. They want to give out your information? Get another provider. AT&T is like any other big company--it only answers to money.
I like the idea, cartledge, but it'll never work. We already have a chance to switch service providers every couple of years, but we keep electing the kinds of people who serve monied interests rather than the public's interests.
The only solution is to cancel the service if it is at all feasible.

And therein is the problem. The only alternative here in Babylon by the Bay is Comcast, and as much as dislike AT&T, is the amount that I loathe Comcast. Cable Internet sucks, and Comsast really, really sucks!

Abi, you're right of course. If we really wanted to switch providers more often, we'd have a parliament.
Response to your comment at my place:

The sucky thing about this is that where I live, all the major providers cooperated with the NSA. There's not a real option. Fortunately, I don't use them for internet, but my phone is certainly fair game.

Thanks for printing the sections of the change in policy.

Mike
Mike, wasn't Verizon the only provider not to cooperate? Can't remember. I think that we're going to see more of these privacy-policy shenanigans--probably a scam cooked up between the American Bar Association and the telcos to get you to run these by your lawyer.

Ad-hoc forwarding networks will soon be the only solution.
Hey, thanks for the link up on the main post Kvatch,
blog on.
goddamn At&t. i tried to escape them years ago by switching to SBCyahoo... then AT&T bought them out and now I have AT&T again.

Now that my email address is YEARS old, it would be a bitch to switch.

Gawd.

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