SCHOLARS & ROGUES - Slashdot broke the news that AT&T's updated terms of service for its high-speed Internet packages essentially forbid you from criticizing the company on pain of cancellation. Here's the offending passage:
"AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries."
Needless to say, this is yet another reason why we need net neutrality as codified law. AT&T's lawyers may have written this just to enforce its rules against hate sites, spammers, and such, but they've written it so broadly that it could easily be interpreted as a "chiller" against legitimate criticism of a company. Not to mention that this is the same company that gleefully assisted the NSA in spying on Americans without warrants or oversight for years.
Corporations do not have the right to control what you say or think any more than governments do, and the idea that we can excuse abrogations of these rights if they come from business is a slippery slope indeed.
It's all here