June 23, 2006

If you're an AT&T customer, stop being one, now.

Things like this will just keep happening until and unless it is made clear to corporations that it is more expensive to stick it to their customers than to accomodate legally-questionable government orders with fig-leaf ex-post court protection.

You don't use a telecommunications service in order to provide the government with data. You don't even use it to provide the company with data. You use a telecommunications service for your own ends, in return for which you pay money. If AT&T wanted to grant me free service in return for this form of data-retention and sharing, that (in my opinion) would be a different story. If I was receiving a service without paying for it, I could understand if AT&T (especially if they notified me in advance) were going to utilize my calling pattern data for their own profit - and once the precedent of their retaining and selling that data had been set, the government is just another customer.

However, if I am paying AT&T for the privilege of using their network, I expect the details of my use to be between myself and AT&T. I don't suppose I can expect the fact that I am AT&T's customer to remain confidential, but the details of my purchases damn well should be.

Posted by jbz at June 23, 2006 3:18 PM | TrackBack

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