BoingBoing reports that AT&T has altered the language in its reviled TOS to say it thinks it’s okay for people to speak their mind. Really, they hard-wired that into the legalese:
“AT&T respects freedom of expression and believes it is a foundation of our free society to express differing points of view. AT&T will not terminate, disconnect or suspend service because of the views you or we express on public policy matters, political issues or political campaigns.”
That’s very sweet of them to say. Really. Though, we’re skeptical of how well, “But it says right here, they respect the freedom of expression as a foundation of a free society!” would hold up in court…
The new language doesn’t seem to fully constitute the “make[ing] clear that we do not terminate service because a customer expresses their opinion about AT&T” they promised last week. The term “Public policy” always refers to government actions. We don’t see where it explicitly says AT&T will not terminate your contract if you criticize aspects of AT&T’s service.
5.1 Suspension/Termination. AT&T respects freedom of expression and believes it is a foundation of our free society to express differing points of view. AT&T will not terminate, disconnect or suspend service because of the views you or we express on public policy matters, political issues or political campaigns. However, 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; or (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. Your Service may be suspended or terminated if your payment is past due and such condition continues un-remedied for thirty (30) days. Termination or suspension by AT&T of Service also constitutes termination or suspension (as applicable) of your license to use any Software. AT&T may also terminate or suspend your Service if you provide false or inaccurate information that is required for the provision of Service or is necessary to allow AT&T to bill you for Service.
It does, however, no longer say that they will terminate your service for “damaging” their “reputation,” which is a plus.
After Blogs Cry “Censorship,” AT&T Says It Will Change Terms Of Service
AT&T Promises To Not Terminate Your Service For Criticizing Them
AT&T And Verizon Can Cancel Service Of Subscribers Who “Damage” Their “Reputation”
(Photo: Charlie Brewer)