Investigative journalism lives. How some journalists proved empirically that AT&T has been in a decades-long spying relationship with the NSA, using the Snowden documents as a starting point.
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At the tone the time will be...
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The Mobile Telephone in Bell System Service, 1946–1993. Descriptions and photographs of car phones and briefcase phones on the "0G" pre-cellular mobile systems.
The Hello Machine is a corporate documentary from AT&T that documents the construction of the 1ESS automatic telephone switching system.
It's been twenty years since AT&T's "You Will" ad campaign ran, let's see how their predictions did. [more inside]
John Oliver and Last Week Tonight do an extended piece on Net Neutrality.
"A federal appeals court Friday reversed and vacated the conviction and sentence of hacker and Internet troll Andrew "weev" Auernheimer." weev is free!
"(TL;DR summary: AT&T is buying entire legislatures to rewrite the laws to allow them to become a fully unregulated company with no wholesale obligations, creating a de-facto monopoly. They can (and likely will) use it to squash or hurt wireless competitors as well, as they're permitted to favor their own subsidiaries with the network built and created over a hundred plus year monopoly, and Comcast is fully on-board because they'd like to split the market created when all their competitors are dead)" Paul Timmins, the telco nerd behind TelcoData.US (Previously), expounds on how the big players in the telecom business (AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast) are ruining the future of connectivity in the US.
Once upon a time, the telephone was a strange, intimidating invention. So in 1974, the fine folks at the phone company made a short film to help children overcome their telephone-related fear and uncertainty. Taking their cues from children's entertainment, they tried to create a fun-filled land of song and dance, not unlike, say, Sesame Street. The end result was not exactly successful along those lines (it turns out that not even a catchy song can make the white pages exciting), but is no less compellingly, weirdly watchable for it. Come with us (and with Telly, a strange, merry man who kind of comes off like one of the Telephone Elves of the Eschaton) to the magical land of Telezonia.
New anti-piracy system will hit U.S. Internet users next week. And here's a primer on the Copyright Alerts System (CAS) or six strikes system, also from the Daily Dot.
What does proper authorization to access a computer system mean? Robert Graham of Errata Security writes about the recent conviction of Andrew Auernheimer (aka weev) for “hacking” AT&T. Two years ago, weev discovered a bug in AT&T's website that exposed the email addresses of customers with iPads. According to weev, the flaw was reported as per responsible disclosure practices by first informing AT&T before bringing it public. However the FBI investigated and arrested him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). On 20th November 2012, he was found guilty of identity fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization.
The UNIX™ System: Making Computers More Productive. A video from 1982 featuring Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Alfred Aho, and Lorinda Cherry discussing key features of UNIX. One of many videos available from the AT&T Archives. Warning: contains beards. Lots of beards.
How AT&T integrated Olympic results into its ads so darn fast. Did you catch a clip of Ryan Lochte’s gold-winning swim in an AT&T ad this weekend? You weren’t seeing things. The brand’s new campaign places winning Team USA results into its advertising in near real-time.
"Now we have three former NSA officials confirming the basic facts. Neither the Constitution nor federal law allow the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting. This kind of power is too easily abused. We're extremely pleased that more whistleblowers have come forward to help end this massive spying program." - the EFF announces that three former employees of the NSA have come forward to testify in their lawsuit against the NSA over the domestic spying program.
Just beating Bank of America, Consumerist readers have voted Electronic Arts the worst company in America
These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps. After a flurry of public records requests to over 200 police departments, the ACLU has obtained a trove of documents detailing police tracking of cell phone location, call logs and more, including a price list for subscriber information from every major US carrier. [more inside]
"Jim Henson made this film in 1963 for The Bell System. Specifically, it was made for an elite seminar given for business owners, on the then-brand-new topic — Data Communications." - SLYT, from AT&T's Archives YouTube channel.
AT&T drops its bid to acquire T-Mobile. After wrangling with the justice department, AT&T ends it's attempt to take over T-Mobile. [via] [more inside]
All I want is to be left alone in my average home... But why do I always feel I'm in the twilight zone?
In August 2011, 35 ACLU affiliates filed 381 requests in 32 states with local law enforcement agencies seeking to uncover when, why and how they are using cell phone location data to track Americans. So how long do American cell phone carriers retain information about your calls, text messages, and data use? According to data gathered by the US Department of Justice, it can be as little as a few days or up to seven years, depending on your provider. (Via / More)
Even after the Justice Department announced attempts to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile, many see a heightened chance of it going through if T-Mobile is weakened. AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile have hired a bunch of former U.S. government officials to try to complete the deal, with Verizon's CEO cheering them on. Yesterday, T-Mobile's CMO Cole Broadman seems to have just blogged a major upcoming weakness - no iPhone 5. Sprint opposes the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, and is tying its fate to being the sole iPhone 5 carrier with unlimited data. Today Apple sent invites out for an event this coming Tuesday where the details of the next iPhone are set to be revealed.
Justice Department (apparently) blocks the merger of AT+T and T-Mobile. The Associated Press is reporting that Justice will block the deal because "would reduce competition and raise prices." [more inside]
Leaked AT&T Letter Demolishes Case For T-Mobile Merger. In trying to gain legal approval for a $39 billion T-Mobile buyout, AT&T has publicly claimed that they need T-Mobile to improve LTE coverage and that the merger would increase network investment. This document tells a different story, of AT&T telling investors that they would actually decrease investment in the network and that the actual cost to improve their LTE network is much less than the $39 billion they are spending on T-Mobile. AT&T has told Wireless Week that the letter contains no new information.
The Sierra Network - later the ImagiNation Network - was a gaming and chat service for PCs started by Sierra On-Line in 1991 and shut down by AOL in 1998. [more inside]
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Explains How the AT&T/T-Mobil Merger Promotes Social Justice. [more inside]
Third, class arbitration greatly increases risks to defendants. Informal procedures do of course have a cost: The absence of multilayered review makes it more likely that errors will go uncorrected. Defendants are willing to accept the costs of these errors in arbitration, since their impact is limited to the size of individual disputes, and presumably outweighed by savings from avoiding the courts. But when damages allegedly owed to tens of thousands of potential claimants are aggregated and decided at once, the risk of an error will often become unacceptable. Faced with even a small chance of a devastating loss, defendants will be pressured into settling questionable claims.—Justice Scalia delivers the opinion of the Court, and a knife in the back of class-action suits. [more inside]
AT&T has announced plans to acquire T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom, creating the largest wireless provider in the United States. [more inside]
Today the Supreme Court in ruled 8-0 in FCC v. ATT that corporations have no "personal privacy" exemption under the Freedom of Information Act. The opinion ended the speculation that the Supreme Court would use this case to take yet another step towards equating corporations with actual people. For links to the various briefs, lower court decisions, and a summary of the underlying facts and opinion, visit the SCOTUSblog. [more inside]
Wikileaks may have been the big news, but there were numerous other data breaches in 2010. [more inside]
Wired: "Who 'Ruled the Air' in 1910, and Who Rules It Now?". Also see: Vintage AdBrowser (Previously): Communications Ads of the: 1910's, 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's.
Apple Inc. is making a version of its iPhone that Verizon Wireless will sell early next year, according to people familiar with the matter, ending an exclusive deal with AT&T and sharpening the competition with Google Inc.-based phones. [more inside]
iPhone 4's reception woes, wherein bridging the area where the metal bands meet (affectionately dubbed "the spot") results in a dramatic loss in signal strength, have been widely covered in the media over the past few weeks. Apple acknowledged the concerns publicly with a letter to customers where they concluded that the issue was not with the phone, but rather that they were being too generous in the way the software communicated signal quality as bars. After an update to iOS, the bars are in fact different but the problems persist. Most recently, Consumer Reports stated it was unable to recommend iPhone 4 because of the significant design flaw, despite listing it as the highest rated overall smartphone they've tested to date. The latest wrinkle in the story has been an open letter to Steve Jobs from Chuck Schumer, yes -- United States Senator from New York Chuck Schumer, in which he questions the adequacy and transparency of Apple's response to customer concerns. Apple will be holding a press conference at 10AM tomorrow in San Francisco to address the matter. [more inside]
SLYT - shows old early nineties AT&T ad in accurate future prediction SHOCK !
AT&T Just Killed Unlimited Wireless Data (and Screwed Everybody in the Process) AT&T is likely just the first, since carriers rarely do anything alone (like when everybody launched unlimited voice calling in lockstep), and Verizon's CTO has rumbled that plans with "as much data as you can consume is the big issue that has to change." And so it is.
AT&T's recent complaints about its mobile phone customers using too much of its underpowered data service have now expanded this week to open opposition to net neutrality legislation. In response, the satirical blog The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs jokingly "reported" on a fake Apple memo calling for "Operation Chokehold", where customers agree to get together on Friday to overwhelm the company's networks. The joke has gained traction with disgruntled users, enough so that AT&T, in turn, chided the blog for "an irresponsible and pointless scheme", creating a Facebook page to promote "Operation Cuckoo".
According to an article in yesterday's NY Times, AT&T's network is much better than our conventional wisdom (or Verizon's marketeers) thought. And, that perhaps the issue with iPhones and coverage is really the fault of the iPhone itself, not AT&T's network.
When it was released, the Apple iPhone 3GS advertised Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), but also noted "MMS support from AT&T coming in late summer." This has resulted in some legal issues such as a number of lawsuits. But now, AT&T has announced that MMS is coming to the iPhone on September 25, just a little past all defined ends of summer. [more inside]
The internet is atwitter over Apple's decision to block the Google Voice app from their App Store, and remove all existing apps that facilitate its use. Fingers are pointing at AT&T, but the app is blocked globally.
"The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants." [Via Threat Level.]
Joel Johnson of Boing Boing shows up to The Hugh Thompson Show to discuss gadgets but chooses a different topic
Yesterday, I was invited to talk about gadgets onThe Hugh Thompson Show, a television-style talk show sponsored exclusively by AT&T for distribution on the online AT&T Tech Channel. I eventually did talk about gadgets, but in light of AT&T's shocking and baffling announcement of their plans to filter the internet, I thought that a much more interesting and important topic.
We're only two weeks into the year, but net neutrality issues hit the ground running. The FCC already has three different inquiries open. (also) (previously) The 700 Mhz auction threatens to disrupt an already converging telecom industry. AT&T's post-merger commitment to net neutrality ends this year, and they plan to test the filtering waters, despite recently opposing the practice. And today, a leaked memo revealed that Time Warner will test tiered internet services soon. The Internet as we know it, and communications in general, might be headed for some major changes in 2008.
"(Steve) Jobs, a notorious control freak himself, wasn't about to let a group of suits — whom he would later call "orifices" — tell him how to design his phone."
In 2006, the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T for cooperating with an NSA wiretapping program that created a "black room" in their San Fransisco office, which operated hardware that captured the entire stream of data travelling through AT&T's system (allegedly 2.5 gigabits of data/second). The details of this arrangement were revealed by Mark Klein, a 22-year employee with AT&T who stumbled across documents detailing the program in 2004. The lawsuit, which alleges that AT&T illegally cooperated with the NSA's domestic spying program, is facing a major hurdle in the Senate right now as Senators have reached a tentative agreement to give the company legal immunity from actions relating to their cooperation. This story previously on MeFi. [more inside]
9/11 changed everything? And the NSA is only looking at overseas and terrorist-related phone and internet records?
to gather information about Americans' phone records --... the NSA had approached the company (Qwest) about participating in a warrantless surveillance program to gather information about Americans' phone records. ...Nacchio's account, which places the NSA proposal at a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, suggests that the Bush administration was seeking to enlist telecommunications firms in programs without court oversight before the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 attacks have been cited by the government as the main impetus for its warrantless surveillance efforts. ... -- The Administration's crimes and illegal spying on all of us and Quest's punishment for not going along with their plans.
Old enough to remember those AT&T "You Will" ads from 1993? via Barry Ritholz's The Big Picture blog.
"Finding JTAG on the iPhone": a ten-step hardware unlock of the iPhone, allowing it to function with other carriers
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