- Homepage: http://www.att.com/
August 2006: "AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corporation have announced an agreement to combine the two companies to create a more effective and efficient provider in the wireless, broadband, video, voice and data markets.
The companies have received approval from stockholders of both AT&T and BellSouth and are awaiting final regulatory clearance. Closing is expected this fall."http://att.sbc.com/gen/press-room?pid=7659
August 2006: "AT&T Inc. is one of the world's largest telecommunications holding companies and is the largest in the United States. Operating globally under the AT&T brand, AT&T companies are recognized as the leading worldwide providers of IP-based communications services to business and as leading U.S. providers of high speed DSL Internet, local and long distance voice, and directory publishing and advertising services. AT&T Inc. holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which is the No. 1 U.S. wireless services provider with 57.3 million wireless customers."http://att.sbc.com/gen/press-room?pid=5097&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=22449
May 2003: "AT&T is among the premier voice, video and data communications companies in the world, serving businesses, consumers, and government. The company runs the largest, most sophisticated communications network in the U.S., backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs....The company is a market leader in local, long distance and Internet services, as well as transaction-based services like prepaid cards, collect calling and directory assistance....AT&T has relationships with about 50 million consumers and 4 million business customers..."
June 2010: "AT&T said it would no longer offer an unlimited data plan to new users of iPhones and other smartphones. The decision, industry analysts said, could signal a shift away from an era in which American wireless carriers sought to attract customers with simple, all-you-can-eat pricing plans for data."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/technology/03phone.html
May 2010: "On one side are companies like AT&T and Microsoft, which vociferously lobby against Google in the policy arena."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/technology/23goog.html
October 2009: "AT&T has just given Google a taste of its own mandated openness medicine, successfully goading federal regulators into officially looking into why Google’s Voice service blocks phone calls to certain rural numbers."http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/10/fcc-google-voice/
August 2009: "The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against AT&T on Thursday alleging that the telecommunications giant is discriminating against older workers."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082003873.html
August 2009: "What this episode really uncovers is that AT&T is dying. AT&T is dragging down the rest of us by overcharging us for voice calls and stifling innovation in a mobile data market critical to the U.S. economy."http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204683204574358552882901262.html
November 2008: '"They're trying to think strategically about how to monetize the network," says Cohen. "Consumers are going to need more and more bandwidth over the next five years, and AT&T is walking a fine line between preserving resources and figuring out how to increase revenue per user."'http://blog.wired.com/business/2008/11/att-tries-usage.html
August 2008: "A civil liberties group suing AT&T for helping the government warrantlessly spy on Americans isn't abandoning its lawsuit after Congress voted to give retroactive immunity to the nation's telcoms."http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/08/rights-group-su.html
August 2008: 'In its letter (.pdf), AT&T denies that it currently digs deep into the net habits of its users "for the purpose [of] developing a profile of a particular consumer's online behavior."* (AT&T is currently facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly helping the NSA spy on Americans' internet usage, but that's a different issue since the NSA does not run ads.)'http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/08/google-privacy.html
July 2008: "President Bush had threatened to veto the bill if it did not protect companies such as AT&T and Verizon Communications from about 40 lawsuits alleging they violated the privacy of their customers by helping the government conduct a secret surveillance program without court warrants after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/09/AR2008070901780.html
July 2008: 'Two lines criticizing President Bush disappeared from AT&T Inc.'s webcast of a Pearl Jam concert...reversed only after senior executives intervened amid complaints.'http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080706/ap_on_hi_te/tec_disappearing_freedoms
June 2008: "The agreement extends the government's ability to eavesdrop on espionage and terrorism suspects while effectively providing a legal escape hatch for AT&T, Verizon Communications and other telecom firms. They face more than 40 lawsuits that allege they violated customers' privacy rights by helping the government conduct a warrantless spying program after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/19/AR2008061901545.html
April 2008: "AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) have spent more than $70 billion in the past two years to expand capacity and fortify their networks with optical technology and other capacity-enhancing gear. Consumers will ultimately foot the bill. Trying to get broadband costs and revenue in line, some carriers are eyeing Internet service plans that charge by the megabyte. That could set the stage, eventually, for the end of Web plans that are priced on speed instead of actual consumption, which is now the case."http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/services/2008-04-20-internet-broadband-traffic-jam_N.htm
February 2008: "In a direct slap in the face to consumers, tech industry giants including Microsoft, AT&T, and Verizon are frantically engaged in an effort to kill pro-consumer provisions in a data breach notification bill currently being considered by the Indiana State Senate."http://www.cnet.com/8301-13739_1-9865076-46.html
February 2008: "By embedding the technology, a so-called content recognition system made by tiny Vobile, AT&T could prevent users of its network from distributing or viewing copyrighted material or force them to watch it in ways sanctioned by the content owner. In effect, the company would create a kind of no-piracy zone where studios and producers would feel safe distributing content, knowing they'd be paid for its use. BusinessWeek has also learned that AT&T, NBC, and Disney have invested a combined $10 million in Vobile."http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2007/tc2007116_145984.htm
January 2008: "The co-inventor of the transistor and the founder of the valley’s first chip company, William Shockley, moved to Palo Alto, Calif., because his mother lived there. Moreover, although the transistor was invented at Bell Labs in New Jersey, an antitrust lawsuit during the 1950s forced the AT&T phone behemoth to license the technology openly at a nominal charge. And, the venture capital industry, an important part of the Silicon Valley ecosystem, was given a big boost by Congress in the late 1970s when legislation loosened pension fund regulations — touching off an early wave of high-profile initial public offerings."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/13/business/13stream.html
October 2007: AT&T executives discovered a fondness for Rockefeller just a month after Verizon execs did and over a three-month span, collectively made donations totaling $19,350.http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/10/dem-pushing-spy.html
October 2007: The Bush administration badly wants Congress to approve legal immunity for any past actions private utilities undertook to aid NSA spying. Currently, AT&T and Verizon, among other firms, face a number of lawsuits brought by privacy advocates who claim that, by allowing the government access to their data streams, the companies have participated in illegal eavesdropping.http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1012/p03s02-uspo.html
September 2007: AT&T of course supports this stance: “We continue to urge policymakers to focus on the real issue of the broadband era, which is to promote the benefits of broadband services at affordable rates for all consumers,” AT&T said in a statement.http://www.forbes.com/technology/2007/09/06/netneutrality-doj-antitrust-tech-cx_pco_0906paidcontent.html
April 2007: What rankles the consumer group is that each donation is capped at $5 and will incur standard text-messaging fees, which on AT&T are 15 cents. “If you want to contribute $20, you have to send four text messages and you’ll be billed for four text messages,” Mr. Court said. “These contributions are structured so that consumers who want to give more pay a higher price for doing so.”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/us/11cell.html
August 2006: [The Electronic Frontier Foundation-Ed.], which is spearheading a class-action lawsuit against AT&T for sharing consumer phone records with the National Security Agency, issued an alert this week calling the AOL incident a “Data Valdez,” asserting that it may be in violation of the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act, which regulates some forms of online communications.http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/12/technology/12privacy.html
November 2005: Weeden said the heightened sensitivity on corporate causes dates to the early 1990s, when AT&T Corp. came under fire from conservative groups for its support of Planned Parenthood. The company first amended its relationship with the organization and then ended it altogether.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/05/AR2005110500282.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Former Owner of (partial or full) Bell Laboratories ("Bell Labs") Organization Aug 31, 2007 Status/Name Change from BellSouth Corp. Organization Aug 12, 2006 Member of (past or present) Center for Copyright Information (CCI) Organization Mar 3, 2013 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Cingular Wireless Organization Aug 12, 2006 Financial Supporter of (past or present) Consumers for Cable Choice Organization Jun 1, 2006 Opponent (past or present) Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Organization Aug 12, 2006 Opponent (past or present) Global Conference Partners Organization Apr 13, 2007 Status/Name Change from NCR Corporation Organization Sep 21, 2006 Cooperation (past or present) National Security Agency (NSA) Organization Aug 12, 2006 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Pacific Bell Organization Jan 31, 2008 Cooperation (past or present) Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Organization Aug 12, 2006 Status/Name Change from SBC Communications Organization Nov 9, 2005 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Vobile Organization Feb 7, 2008 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Founded/Co-Founded by Alexander Graham Bell Person Mar 23, 2008 Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Gerry Faulhaber Ph.D. Person Mar 23, 2008 Organization Executive (past or present) Ms. Carleton "Carly" S. Fiorina Person Organization Executive (past or present) Peter A. Gallagher Person Oct 13, 2006 Director/Trustee/Overseer (past or present) Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Person Oct 22, 2007 Advised by (past or present) Prof. Laurence Kotlikoff Person Organization Executive (past or present) Prof. Gail J. McGovern Ph.D. Person Sep 21, 2008 Organization Executive (past or present) Lynn St. Amour Person Aug 19, 2006 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Randall L. Stephenson Person Mar 31, 2013 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Randall Stevenson Person Feb 7, 2008 Organization Executive (past or present) Ambassador Randall Tobias Person Apr 29, 2004
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Oct 10, 2011 Secret Orders Target Email: WikiLeaks Backer's Information Sought
QUOTE: The court clashes in the WikiLeaks case provide a rare public window into the growing debate over a federal law that lets the government secretly obtain information from people's email and cellphones without a search warrant. Several court decisions have questioned whether the law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, violates the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Jul 07, 2011 To Slow Piracy, Internet Providers Ready Penalties
QUOTE: After years of negotiations with Hollywood and the music industry, the nation’s top Internet providers have agreed to a systematic approach to identifying customers suspected of digital copyright infringement and then alerting them via e-mail or other means....concerns that consumers might be punished “based on allegations that have not been tested in court.”
New York Times Apr 27, 2011 Holding Companies Accountable for Privacy Breaches
QUOTE: Yet there seems to be no real repercussions for these companies when a person’s information stored online is exposed. “Today the only real hit a company takes when these data breaches happen is to the company’s image.”
New York Times Apr 26, 2011 Sony Says PlayStation Hacker Got Personal Data
QUOTE: An “unauthorized person” had obtained personal information about account holders, including their names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and PlayStation user names and passwords. Sony warned that other confidential information, including credit card numbers, could have been compromised.
New York Times Apr 07, 2011 Once the hobby of tech geeks, iPhone jailbreaking now a lucrative industry
QUOTE: Within minutes, the computer science major can download code onto his customers’ iPhones and fling open the portal to an alternative world of apps and software that Apple condemns... The practice has now evolved into a lucrative industry with millions of consumers.
Washington Post Mar 26, 2011 It’s Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know
QUOTE: We are already continually being tracked whether we volunteer to be or not... Unlike many online services and Web sites that must send “cookies” to a user’s computer to try to link its traffic to a specific person, cellphone companies simply have to sit back and hit “record...” In the United States, telecommunication companies do not have to report precisely what material they collect.
New York Times Feb 10, 2011 The Ethics of Free Cellphone Calls
QUOTE: The trick relies on a handy feature of Google Voice: you can place outgoing calls through Google instead of your phone company... There’s nothing technically illegal about it; it’s clearly an unintended loophole. But you aren’t paying for the calls.
New York Times Dec 21, 2010 F.C.C. Approves Net Rules and Braces for Fight (Media Decoder)
QUOTE: The new rules [approved by the FCC-- Ed.] are, at best, net semi-neutrality. They ban any outright blocking and any “unreasonable discrimination” of Web sites or applications by fixed-line broadband providers, but they afford more wiggle room to wireless providers like AT&T and Verizon.
New York Times Jun 02, 2010 Heaviest Users of Phone Data Will Pay More
QUOTE: The trouble for AT&T was that a fraction of users — fewer than 2 percent — made such heavy use of the network that they slowed it down for everyone else. Starting on Monday, AT&T will offer tiered pricing. People will pay based on what they use, which the company says is fairer to everyone.
New York Times May 21, 2010 Sure, It’s Big. But Is That Bad?
QUOTE: “The government is finally onto the notion that they have to start asking questions about Google,” he said. “Google started off saying they were going to treat everything on the Web neutrally. That is the basis on which they secured dominance. And now they’ve changed the rules.”
New York Times Mar 01, 2010 Misdials help 'crammers' ring up millions in phone bill scam
QUOTE: sneak small, unauthorized fees onto thousands of monthly bills and hope the charges would go unnoticed, court documents state. The scheme, known as "cramming,"...
Washington Post Nov 21, 2009 Best Soup Ever? Suits Over Ads Now Seek Proof
QUOTE: Companies that were once content to fight in grocery-store aisles and on television commercials are now choosing a different route — filing lawsuits and other formal grievances challenging their competitors’ claims.
New York Times Oct 19, 2009 Exclusive: U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets (Danger Room)
QUOTE: In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the wider intelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media. It’s part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using ”open source intelligence” — information that’s publicly available...
Wired Oct 09, 2009 FCC to investigate "gating" role of middle-mile access lines
QUOTE: As DSL or cable customers, consumers usually pay directly for that last-mile access. But large businesses and other ISPs shell out humongous sums for middle and secondary transport services to connect their networks or cell towers with the Internet backbone.
Ars Technica Oct 09, 2009 Epicenter The Business of Tech The Empire Strikes Back: FCC Probes Google Voice (Updated) (Epicenter)
QUOTE: AT&T has just given Google a taste of its own mandated openness medicine, successfully goading federal regulators into officially looking into why Google’s Voice service blocks phone calls to certain rural numbers.
Wired Oct 01, 2009 America's High-Tech Sweatshops: U.S. companies may be contributing unwittingly to the exploitation of workers imported from India and elsewhere by tech-services outfits
QUOTE: While many [tech-service] outfits operate legally and provide high-quality talent, there is growing evidence that others violate U.S. laws and mistreat their recruits.
BusinessWeek Sep 06, 2009 Gadget Makers Can Find Thief, but Don’t Ask
QUOTE: many tech companies will not disclose information about the new owners of missing devices unless a police officer calls with a search warrant. Even a request to simply shut down service — which would deter thieves by rendering their pilfered gadget useless — is typically refused.
New York Times Aug 31, 2009 How we’re losing our privacy online
QUOTE: As we slip further into the Internet era, they [computer experts] argue that we are every day surrendering more of the private us to the public domain
Christian Science Monitor Aug 28, 2009 Court tosses "arbitrary" FCC cable market share cap
QUOTE: The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has just thrown out the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rule limiting each cable provider to no more than 30 percent of the overall video marketplace.
Ars Technica Aug 28, 2009 FCC launches far-reaching investigation of cellular industry: The FCC has launched an investigation of the wireless industry that takes the agency into new, and for some, uncomfortable terrain.
QUOTE: the three Notices of Inquiry that the agency [Federal communications Commission] announced at its Open Commission meeting notably and perhaps even radically expand the array of questions that it usually asks of the wireless service sector.
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