Taking Texas And The Nation Back

AT&T Censored Pearl Jam Performance

Posted by nytexan on August 9, 2007

Over the weekend AT&T gave us a glimpse of their plans for the Web when they censored a Pearl Jam performance that didn’t meet their standard of “Internet freedom.”

During the live Lollapalooza Webcast of a concert by the Seattle-based super-group, the telco giant muted lead singer Eddie Vedder just as he launched into a lyric against President George Bush. The lines — “George Bush, leave this world alone” and “George Bush find yourself another home” were somehow lost in the mix.

“What happened to us this weekend was a wake up call, and it’s about something much bigger than the censorship of a rock band,” Pearl Jam band members stated in a release following the incident.

Indeed. AT&T routinely rails against Net Neutrality as a “solution without a problem.” They say Net Neutrality regulations aren’t necessary because they wouldn’t dare interfere with online content. At the same time they tout plans to become gatekeepers to the Web with public relations bromides about “shaping” Web traffic to better serve the needs of an evolving Internet.

Such spin needs to be held up to the light of experience. AT&T’s history of breaking trust with their customers includes handing over private phone records to the government, promising to deliver services to underserved communities and then skipping town, pledging never to interfere with the free flow of information online while hatching plans with the likes of Cisco, Viacom, RIAA and MPA to build and deploy technology that will spy on user traffic.

The moral of this story is never trust AT&T at their word. The company acts in bad faith toward the public interest and will do whatever it can get away with to pad it’s bottom line — including sacrificing the freedoms its users have to choose where they go, what they watch and whom they listen to online.

Our friends at the Future of Music Coalition have done great work to mobilize hundreds of rock bands against such censorship but it’s a threat that concerns everyone.

AT&T’s vision of a better Internet – “Your World Delivered” — is not one that is shared by the more than 1.5 million people who have spoken out in favor of a neutral, affordable and accessible Internet for everyone. For us the Internet isn’t about one company delivering our world. It’s about simply offering a real high-speed connection at reasonable and competitive rates — and then getting out of our way.


5 Responses to “AT&T Censored Pearl Jam Performance”

  1. […] Clark Contact the Webmaster Link to Article george w bush AT&T Censored Pearl Jam Performance » Posted at BlueBloggin on […]

  2. Case in point on why the FISA bill is so disgusting. The hubs are already in place for surrveilance, data mining and has been going on for some time now. How we ever dismantle this is beyond me.

    Good news catch NY. A reminder for those interested the LGBT debate is logotv on line tonight 9pm est. It will be recorded for later viewing as well.

    Its powerful hard to have faith in any politicians. Soon you gotta wonder if we “vote” on which corporations we are most invested in ..and for many of us, thats exactly NONE.

  3. phil_in_ny said

    G.W. has all corporations by the balls.

  4. nytexan said

    Congress is either asleep at the wheel and can’t connect the dots between FISA and the net or they are all corporate pockets.

    Thanks for the debate reminder. I posted it yesterday, I think I will repost it.

  5. nytexan said

    All the corporations love uncle George.

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