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AT&T Inc.

Self Description

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."

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."

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..."

Third-Party Descriptions

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."

May 2010: "On one side are companies like AT&T and Microsoft, which vociferously lobby against Google in the policy arena."

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."

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."

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."

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."'

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."

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.)'

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."

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.'

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.


RoleNameTypeLast 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
Opponent (past or present) Andrew Auernheimer Person Aug 3, 2013
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

81 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Beginning] [Previous 20]

Date Resource Read it at:
Feb 22, 2007 Microsoft Loses Big In MP3 Patent Suit: $1.52 Billion Penalty Could Be Harbinger

QUOTE: The company [Alcatel-Lucent] successfully argued that Microsoft infringed on the patents by including the digital music technology in its Windows operating system starting in 1998. The same technology later was used in Microsoft's Windows Media Player and is included in the Windows Vista operating system, which was released to the public last month.

Washington Post
Feb 22, 2007 Court Takes on Software Patents: Microsoft Case May Have Global Reach

QUOTE: Microsoft admitted it infringed the AT&T patent on computers sold domestically but contends that it is not liable for its programs installed by computer manufacturers overseas. In 1984, Congress amended the patent law to forbid companies from shipping components of patented inventions overseas and having the parts assembled elsewhere in an attempt to skirt patent laws.

Washington Post
Feb 09, 2007 A Call To Let Your Phone Loose: Telecom's New Battleground: Carriers' Proprietary Controls

QUOTE: Until federal regulators issued a landmark ruling in 1968, Americans could not own the telephones in their homes, nor attach answering machines or other devices to them. Now, a growing number of academics and consumer activists say it's time to deliver a similar groundbreaking jolt to the cellphone industry...

Washington Post
Sep 14, 2006 Protect Yourself From Pretexting

QUOTE: Pretexting has long been a tactic used by private investigators and others to obtain personal information and records about people. Also known as "social engineering" in the hacker realm, it involves using ploys to obtain data and documents.

Sep 07, 2006 With a Little Stealth, Just About Anyone Can Get Phone Records

QUOTE: The protection of phone records falls into a legal gray area, privacy experts say. Legislators, regulators and the phone industry are all considering ways to clamp down on unauthorized releases of records like those in the H.P. case.

New York Times
Aug 24, 2006 AT& T Sues, Alleging Fraudulent Access to Customer Accounts

QUOTE: AT&T Corp. on Wednesday filed suit in federal court to unmask and halt the actions of 25 people who allegedly posed as customers to gain unauthorized online access to private phone records...Some 2,500 customers' records were stolen

Washington Post
Aug 12, 2006 Your Life as an Open Book

QUOTE: in an era when powerful commercial and legal forces ally in favor of holding on to data, and where the surrender of one’s digital soul happens almost imperceptibly, change is not likely to come swiftly.

New York Times
Jul 26, 2006 New scam to vatch for: vishing

QUOTE: vishing....fraudsters skip e-mail altogether and "cold call" consumers -- phoning at random for financial information. Some calls involve automated messages; some calls are live.
Jun 03, 2006 Government, Internet Firms In Talks Over Browsing Data: Feds Seek Page Logs to Aid in Child-Porn Cases

QUOTE: the government wanted the companies to keep records of which Web sites were viewed by their customers...Their proposal raised privacy concerns for consumers and worries about cost for the Internet service providers, which might be forced to keep years' worth of data that would fill storage systems.

Washington Post
Apr 05, 2006 Bid to Protect Net Neutrality Fails

QUOTE: Lawmakers squared off on network neutrality April 5, coming to sharp disagreement over whether the government should take steps to prevent telephone companies from establishing a two-tiered Internet in which large content providers will pay extra for higher-speed delivery.

Mar 31, 2006 Porn-dialing firm loses appeal (Police appeal)

QUOTE: The Federal Trade Commission sued Verity International and other defendants, claiming a downloadable dialer program that phoned Madagascar was deceptive and unlawful.
Mar 05, 2006 Time Out on Cash Back: Credit Card's 5 Percent Rebate Is Slow to Add Up

QUOTE: "We're a society that is ruled by contracts, and consumers sometimes don't realize that. Businesses go into [a deal] doing these flowery promotions -- but the devil's in the details. As painful as it can be, you have got to read the agreement and understand what you are getting into."

Washington Post
Feb 05, 2006 Postage Is Due for Companies Sending E-Mail

QUOTE: America Online and Yahoo, two of the world's largest providers of e-mail accounts, are about to start using a system that gives preferential treatment to messages from companies that pay from 1/4 of a cent to a penny each to have them delivered. The senders must promise to contact only people who have agreed to receive their messages, or risk being blocked entirely.

New York Times
Dec 23, 2005 Agenda at FCC Depends On Powers of Persuasion: Martin's Negotiating Skills Face Tests in Coming Year

QUOTE: In the nine months since he became chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin J. Martin has pushed through a series of decisions that have made the country's largest phone companies even bigger and, in the view of critics, made it harder for smaller companies to compete with them.

Washington Post
Nov 06, 2005 How We Help: Choosing Causes With Caution

QUOTE: Corporate giving experts say that more than ever before, companies are being forced to weigh the political correctness of each social issue or charitable effort they take on.

Washington Post
Sep 03, 2003 AT&T Sues WorldCom Over Call-Routing Methods

QUOTE: The long-distance giant claims that WorldCom conspired with Minneapolis-based telecommunications company Onvoy Inc. to route calls into Canada. The telephone traffic was then secretly moved onto AT&T's international telephone network where calls were transported back into the United States, according to the lawsuit.

Washington Post
Jan 17, 2002 Court Voids Arbitration Rule: Judge Says AT&T Policy Illegally Restricts Consumer Rights

QUOTE: ...consumer advocates oppose increasing corporate efforts to force consumers to give up their rights to sue and resolve all disputes through arbitration. They say arbitration can cost consumers thousands of dollars and limit the gathering of evidence...

Washington Post
Sep 03, 2001 House to Focus On Net Access and Competition

QUOTE: ...Internet service to consumers, what is the ideal number of competitors? And should the government make that decision?

New York Times
Aug 24, 2001 CLECs Fight ILECs for Access

QUOTE: ...AT&T asked the commission to require ILECs (incumbent local exchange carriers) to disclose the rates and terms of their building access arrangements to competing carriers...

Jul 13, 0201 Report: Unauthorized phone charges cost Americans $2 billion a year

QUOTE: A key Senate chairman says Congress needs to pass legislation to protect customers from unauthorized third-party charges on their phone bills because the telephone industry has failed to prevent the practice.

CNN (Cable News Network)

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