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AT&T Suggests To 300K Employees To Lobby the FCC

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the call-your-uncle-sam dept.

The Internet 239

Several readers sent in the news that AT&T's top lobbyist sent a letter to all 300,000 employees urging them to give feedback to the FCC as it gears up for rulemaking on net neutrality. He even supplied talking points approved by the PR department. The lobbyist, Jim Cicconi, suggested that employees use their personal email accounts when they weigh in with the FCC. Pro-net-neutrality group Free Press has now likened Cicconi's letter to astroturfing: "Coming from one of the company’s most senior executives, it’s hard to imagine AT&T employees thinking the memo was merely a suggestion."

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Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (3, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#29814901)

This is getting blown way out of proportion and has a simple explanation:

You also have to BCC your immediate manager to remain employed.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (4, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815101)

No need for that... it's in the actual letter:

The "net neutrality" rules as reported will jeopardize the very goals supported by the Obama administration that every American have access to high-speed Internet services no matter where they live or their economic circumstance. That goal can't be met with rules that halt private investment in broadband infrastructure. And the jobs associated with that investment will be lost at a time when the country can least afford it.

Who needs to blatantly hinge jobs upon action/inaction to the letter when FUD inside the letter works so well?

Whatever, though. This is just like unions telling their members to do the same thing for the benefit of their employers (and thus themselves)... just without the go-between of the union. It happens all the time.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815215)

Go ahead AT&T employees. Send a letter.

Tell the FCC to support net neutrality because you want to be able to get your music and movies from ANY website, not just att.com websites. No I do not recommend bcc:ing your boss on that email.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815303)

Company tells people to vote a particular way: Bad.
Union tells people to vote a particular way: Good.
Because the Company is all about its own self interest.
Unions are for the employees and don't have any self interests.

If you believe that I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Any large organization will want to control its masses.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (0, Flamebait)

mweather (1089505) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815593)

So what does the union do when you don't vote their way? Stop charging you dues?

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815651)


Any large organization will want to control its masses.

True. The big difference between an employer trying to influence its employees politics and a union trying to influence its members politics is that an employer can fire employees, while a union can't. That's kind of a large difference in terms of power influence. Union officials are also generally elected positions, so the power flows the other way as well.

Difference is the union has more power over you (-1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816109)

True. The big difference between an employer trying to influence its employees politics and a union trying to influence its members politics is that an employer can fire employees, while a union can't.

They can just beat you when you leave work for the day, or have other member do unsavory things to you and your food through the day, or make veiled threats against your family.

Yeah, that's way better. And certainly never convinced anyone to quit who was against a union where they worked.

Meanwhile if you are fired for something like this, hello lawsuit.

That's kind of a large difference in terms of power influence.

I totally agree with the statement, just not who has the most power over the worker.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (0, Redundant)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816243)

Of course, your employer can't fire you either, since they have no way of knowing whether or not you voted along their advice, or wrote a letter to the FCC.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (5, Informative)

hobo sapiens (893427) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816283)

all true. I worked for the company in question for years and this is nothing new. Before net neutrality, there was cable vs dsl. Before that, there was UNE-P (http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/U/UNE_P.html). Before that, there was SBC vs ATT for long distance. Before that, there was probably some other bogeyman that they tried to rally everyone against.

Here's the thing: I never once contributed to their PAC. Not even once. I didn't use Cingular, I used a competing carrier until Cingular's service got better than the competition. I still use an AT&T DSL connection and phone service, even though I no longer work there. Why? I will choose to spend my money on whomever provides the best service at my price point. I made that clear to everyone I used to work with who gave me grief.

My job was never once threatened. I never received a bad review, never got any flack at all. I left of my own volition. Now, if I still worked there, I would never do what they are asking. I don't think there would be trouble over that.

The sad part is, though, many many many of those 300K employees *will* allow themselves be coerced to send this email, even without understanding what the fuss is about. This is more about people doing what they are told than some corporation "encouraging" employees to vote a certain way. That happens everywhere, and it's not fair to stick it to AT&T over this as though they are doing something unusual and outrageous. It's the mindless mass of people who go along with this, despite the fact that any implicit threat is empty. Any thinking person would realize that there's nothing they can really do about it.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (1)

cjb658 (1235986) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815959)

Guess who is the number one political gift donor [opensecrets.org] in America is.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816027)

Guess who is the number one political gift donor [opensecrets.org] in America is.

And look at where the to individual contributors [opensecrets.org] are from.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29816201)

And look at where all this shit originates [goat.cx] .

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (0, Troll)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815961)

Unions are for the employees and don't have any self interests.

Ha! Unions are not in it for the employees. They are in it for the unions.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (0, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816161)

I've belonged to one union in my life. The big honcho for the union was the company officer's brother. They'd have a freaking cook-out at Mom's place. "Hey, Guido, my boys need a raise!" "No, Mario - look around you. The swimming pool needs work, we need to put new roof on Mom's place soon - no raise, Bro." "Hey, Antoine - my boys really need a raise, talk some sense into Guido." "No way, Mario. You know my daughter needs braces, and Junior wants a corvette. Money doesn't grow on trees, you know!" "Well, alright guys. I had to try."

Yes, today, I'm a real dedicated union man.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816113)

Company tells people to vote a particular way: Bad.
Union tells people to vote a particular way: Good.

A union's relationship to its members is more analogous to a corporation's relationship to its shareholders than a corporation's relationship to its employees. Sure, you can have bad managers (and union leadership are managers of the union, though they have different titles) acting in the managers' self-interest rather than members'/shareholders' shared interest in either case, but a corporation's management doesn't even in theory work in the interest of the employees, it works in the interest of the shareholders.

So there is a pretty big difference between union leadership making recommendations on political actions to the people whose shared interests they are paid to represent, and a corporation's management making recommendation for political action to their "human resources".

 

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815427)

This is getting blown way out of proportion and has a simple explanation:

You also have to BCC your immediate manager to remain employed.

I am writing on behalf of a Jim Cicconi at AT&T. He can always be found
hard at work in his office. He lobbies independently, but never stoops to
donating to opposition party members. Jim is consistent in that he only
lobbies in order to help America innovate in telecom, but never
offers bribes in exchange for their support. Jim often takes extended
measures to complete his lobbying, sometimes skipping coffee and lunch
breaks. Jim is a dedicated individual who has absolutely no
vanity in spite of his leadership skills, record of high accomplishments,
moral scruples and knowledge in his field. I firmly believe that Jim can
be classed as a top-tier lobbyist, and his recommendations cannot
be easily dispensed with. Consequently, I duly recommend that Jim be
appointed to regulatory office, and that this appointment should be
executed as soon as possible.

Attempting to influence public policy by means of astroturfing is an art; one sometimes has to
read between the lines.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (0, Redundant)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815553)

Well done, sir! My kingdom for some mod points, though choosing between "Funny" and "Insightful" would probably cause my synapses to fry anyway.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815893)

The accusations the Jim raped and murdered a 12 year old girl are false. I patently refuse to believe the wide spread rumor that Jim raped and murdered a 12 year old girl, such speculation that Jim raped and murdered a 12 year old girl have no basis in fact, no matter what any court may say.

If you are offended, then you missed the joke.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815547)

AT&T is porked anyway. I think the whole twisted-pair pair thing died about 5 years ago.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (0, Troll)

xeniast (575383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815839)

Net neutrality is the White House take-over of the net

Net neutrality means the end of the net as we have known it.

Net neutrality means the end of free speech on the net.

Re:Please People, You're Spreading Misinformation (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816219)

I don't think net neutrality means what you think it does.

So? (1, Troll)

HeyLaughingBoy (182206) | more than 4 years ago | (#29814995)

What's the big deal? I also work in a regulated industry and recently our CEO sent out a memo suggesting employees write their Congressman about a proposed law that could seriously hurt our business. It doesn't matter where the urging comes from since it's not like the CEO can tell that you've followed his suggestion or not.

Well... (2, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815095)

Some of us would like to preserve the illusion that our government isn't totally at the beck and call of corporate interests. This sort of astroturfing is exactly what makes people cynical, when individual citizens are roped in to parroting the lines of the place they work for.

Perhaps they won't check to see if you have done their bidding, but what if they did? What if it turns out that was a job requirement buried somewhere in that huge contract you signed when you started your job?

The current lobbying system is bad enough, we don't need to make it even worse by blurring the line between the opinions of individuals and that of corporations.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815271)

Some of us would like to preserve the illusion that our government isn't totally at the beck and call of corporate interests.

Too fucking bad, Alice in Wonderland. Maybe you need to wake up.

The preservation of that illusion is one of two main perpetuating forces behind that reality (money being the other).

Re:Well... (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815873)

Whoosh!

Re:So? (5, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815121)

I also work in a regulated industry and recently our CEO sent out a memo suggesting employees write their Congressman about a proposed law that could seriously hurt our business. It doesn't matter where the urging comes from since it's not like the CEO can tell that you've followed his suggestion or not.

That's nice, but here we're not talking about letters to your Congressional representative, we're talking about comments to be filed as part of a formal FCC rulemaking process. Comments filed in a formal rulemaking process are public records. In fact, the FCC has an online search system [fcc.gov] that lets you search all filed comments, by, among other things, the name of the person or entity filing the comment, and the results include additional information like the mailing address of the filer.

Consequently, especially if you are only worried about positive confirmation (IOW, if you don't mind some false negatives, but want to be fairly immune to false positives), its pretty easy for an employer to check if their employees have followed through on such a "recommendation."

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815521)

its pretty easy for an employer to check if their employees have followed through on such a "recommendation."

The letter is clearly written as a suggestion, not a demand. Yes, it uses standard scare tactics to suggest that if their point of view loses, there will be massive layoffs, but it doesn't actually say you'll be fired or even disciplined in any way for failing to participate in this particular lobbying effort. Thus, if you're fired and you can show that you were fired because you didn't do this, you can likely sue for damages and win (especially if you can show others who didn't participate were also fired). Even in at-will states, you're begging for a lawsuit if you fire an employee for something like this.

Along the same lines, my employer has its very own Political Action Committee. I occasionally get emails asking me to join the PAC and help advance "our interests". I ignore those emails, and am not a member of the PAC, nor have I ever donated a penny to it. And yet, I've not been fired nor have I been denied promotions or raises.

Re:So? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816451)

if you're fired and you can show that you were fired because you didn't do this, you can likely sue for damages and win

That's it. And as you said, the letter that is now public was

clearly written as a suggestion, not a demand

I'm not saying that ATT intends to follow up on this, but any half-intelligent manager who intends to use his power as a stick to influence his employees' voting is going to be discreet in his threats and make sure there is no proof that his policy for firing and promoting was based on employees' heeding his political "suggestions".

Double Standard? (1, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815771)

How is this any different than, say, the Sierra Club or the FSF urging their members / followers to lobby their politicos on a particular point of view? It's OK for "us" but not for "them"?

Bad Comparison! (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816023)

How is this any different than, say, the Sierra Club or the FSF urging their members / followers to lobby their politicos on a particular point of view?

The Sierra Club and FSF are voluntary associations of people whose whole bases for association is a common ideology: members of those organizations pay the leaders of those organizations specifically to help them acheive particular shared ideological aims. So, advice from those leaders on steps the members can take to make the money that they pay to acheive those ends be more effective is consistent with the job those members are paying the professional staff of the organization to do. And the members of the Sierra Club and FSF aren't dependent on those organizations, generally, for their livelihood.

AT&T employees aren't, as a general rule, voluntarily paying AT&T management to help them defeat net neutrality, and are, OTOH, dependent on AT&T for their jobs, so the circumstances aren't even remotely parallel.

Re:Double Standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29816035)

Generally, the members of the FSF aren't employees of the FSF. The whole point of the public comment process is to collect the public's opinion, not the "suggested" opinions of AT&T employees. This is more like the lame-ass astroturf the health insurers tried earlier this year when they "suggested" that their employees should write to Congress opposing reform.

Re:Double Standard? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29816165)

Employment does not mean you automatically subscribe to the Corporation's Political Views.

If you were a card-carrying member of the FSF, you'd bet you'd agree with most of their ideals on freedom of information.

Contrast this with being a Coke/Pepsi delivery truck driver; should you be required to "toe the line" and write your congressman for more high-fructose corn syrup or corn crop subsidies?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815149)

It's AT&T. They'll just watch for the traffic on the line and let the wiretaps do the work.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815161)

Yet millions of people send chain e-mails every single day.

Sure the CEO can't tell anybody followed his suggestion, but how many people actually KNOW he can't?

Re:So? (0)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815549)

Sure the CEO can't tell anybody followed his suggestion, but how many people actually KNOW he can't?

How many? I can't give you a number, but I can say what they all would have in common: A lack of knowledge regarding the submissions process. It's all public record. A trip down to HR to cross-reference the list of names of those submitting comments to the FCC with those on file with the company would be all that's required.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29816379)

So if they file comments 100% opposed to the corporate position they are all good then, right?

Re:So? (2, Funny)

Trails (629752) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816001)

Actually, he can tell. You see, Bill Gates has developed a new email tracking software, so if you forward that to the fcc, you could win $100,000

Yes, they can tell! (1)

mbkennel (97636) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815251)

It doesn't matter where the urging comes from since it's not like the CEO can tell that you've followed his suggestion or not.

In many circumstances where the government asks people to comment (e.g. changes to SEC rules), all comments, along with names are made public.

So yes, they probably can tell.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

pugugly (152978) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816025)

Of course, this *is* AT&T, a company that was allowed to get away with blatant violations of the law and snooping on American citizens without a warrant.

In fact, the one thing we know with absolute certainty is that they *can* tell if the employees have followed the CEO's suggestion.

Oh, yeah . . that. . .

Pug

Let the FCC know your own opinion (5, Informative)

Michael G. Kaplan (1517611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815017)

AT&T urged its employees to post on the FCC's net neutrality website. You can do the same, you have until Thursday to post.

http://openinternet.gov/ [openinternet.gov]

Re:Let the FCC know your own opinion (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815245)

I posted in this thread, so I can't mod you up.

Hopefully other mods will.

Re:Let the FCC know your own opinion (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815581)

Apparently slashdotted - unless my ISP is blocking me!!
(& thanks for the link!!)

Re:Let the FCC know your own opinion (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815693)

There is a good deal of self-evident irony in an 'Open Internet' site run by the FCC and not prepared for lots of visitors. I worry that the site is slowing down under a deluge of AT&T employees attempting to access it and run their FUD amok.

Re:Let the FCC know your own opinion (1)

rho (6063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815763)

Why is it called "Open Internet"?

If the FCC regulates the Internet's backbones, even in the name of "preserving a free and open Internet," they'll have to monitor the Internet. Somehow.

When did nerds start salivating over the FCC acting as an Internet gatekeeper? Are they really that pissed off at AT&T for not letting them use Skype on their iPhones? Or whatever?

Always err on the side of reducing power (-1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815845)

AT&T urged its employees to post on the FCC's net neutrality website. You can do the same, you have until Thursday to post.

I would urge Slashdot readers to comment AGAINST net neutrality.

At first the term sounds great, like warm puppies or brownies fresh from the oven.

But if you think about it, "net neutrality" is a guise for the FCC being able to tell companies how to manage a network.

And for what? Because people have posted a bunch of fear-laden scenarios about what might happen, but have not actually come to pass? Anytime a major ISP has tried something fishy they have been slapped down hard by customers.

Do you really gain significant benefit from it? And in the meantime you've given the FCC a mandate for even more power, even more oversight, even more people saying "well hey, I should control that thing over there too".

This should be the mantra going forward for every debate, on any subject - does it increase the power of government over the people they govern? The answer at this point, should always be no - we have gone way too far down the path of meddling and all the truly helpful regulations are in place already. It is time, to unwind.

Re:Always err on the side of reducing power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29816121)

So, how big is your check from AT&T, douchebag? Or are you just a generic Randroid?

You probably think FDA regulations are bad too, since "customers can just slap [vendors] down". Well, except for the dead ones.

If you disagree say why (-1, Flamebait)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816145)

I would ask that anyone voting me down have the balls to say what exactly you disagree with, rather than silently striking from the shadows just because you don't understand what "net neutrality" really means.

Has any government oversight committee in the history of mankind ever remained "Neutral"? If you don't like companies controlling the internet you should be fearful indeed of giving a group of ten or so easily bribed people huge sway over the whole industry. THAT is your "neutrality".

It's a conspiracy!!.. nah it appears hosed is all (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816021)

Your link won't load.

the front page loads but this specific link does not.

I'm tempted to jump to the conclusion of major ISP blockage, but I just tried from a dutch proxy and it appears the page really is totally hosed.

Not entirely the same (4, Insightful)

jlechem (613317) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815023)

But my wife received a letter from her Employer asking her to lobby her congress/senate folks on behalf of the health care debate. She didn't feel comfortable doing it at all and told her boss so. What you do at your home should be purely divorced from your work. I'm sure there are some places where this doesn't hold, but I think most office drone jobs don't apply. I think it's pure bullshit and someone should call their sorry asses on the carpet for it. I'll vote or lobby whoever the fuck I want and however I see fit.

Re:Not entirely the same (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815133)

She didn't feel comfortable doing it at all and told her boss so.

Maybe not the smartest move on her part.

She should keep a record of any and all conversations on the topic, in case it comes back to bite her.

Out of curiosity, who initiated the conversation with her boss about whether or not she took action?

Re:Not entirely the same (1)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815519)

"What you do at your home should be purely divorced from your work."

Funny. Spoken like someone who's never been paged at home before... And about the healthcare debate too! :)

Re:Not entirely the same (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815563)

What you do at your home should be purely divorced from your work.

I agree 100%

A couple years ago I had a similar situation happen to me. It was suggested in a mass-email to comment on an anti-spam law, except to do so against the bill (IE to favor spamming)

This sort of took me by surprise, as I worked in the IT department, and at the time we did NO email advertisements, nor used any services to do so. So I figured, why on earth would this be the case unless A) we planned to spam, or B) the boss simply didn't understand the matter.

I made the same asumption. What I do on my own time and from my own email address is not work. If they want that time, or those resources (email), they are damn sure going to pay me for them.

I silently ignored the request.

Half a year or so went by and I forgot all about it. I came in on a Monday to learn that the FCC comment postings are public record, and you can lookup the email/name of everyone that posted.
Needless to say, my name was no where to be found.

At this point I was given some team player speech and told why in pretty blunt terms. After explaining why I do not agree, and that it would be a death sentence for our company to advertise that way.

Boss made the stupid mistake of explaining the errors of my ways in email.
He asked me to resign, which I refused. The next day I was fired.

Fortunately for me, this is not a valid reason to terminate someones employment, and I got a nice settlement out of the lawsuit to live on before finding my next job.

Oddest part of the whole story, that company STILL does not spam that I can tell, or that any of my ex-coworkers in their IT department know of. I am left with the belief that the boss had other reasons for this, not related to that company.
Who knows what type of business he does on the side after all.

In the end, I am very happy with the new job I found, and have no regrets over what happened.

Just thought I would share.

Re:Not entirely the same (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815643)

But my wife received a letter from her Employer asking her to lobby her congress/senate folks on behalf of the health care debate. She didn't feel comfortable doing it at all and told her boss so.

I think most companies have certain social or political beliefs, and it's reasonable to expect they might want to ask their employees to help out, whether that's contributing time or money to a charity, signing a petition, or even writing a letter to Congress. It's just as reasonable to expect that a certain number of employees would want to participate.

The difference here is that we're talking about AT&T, not the employees of a small company with narrow or limited interests. I'd suggest that if the rules for a company that wields that much power can't be made different, then their actions should be more carefully scrutinised for abuses.

What you do at your home should be purely divorced from your work.

Perhaps, but it can be ideal when they complement each other. If I was an avid amateur organic farmer and was an employee of Whole Foods, I'd certainly be happy to assist the company in advocating, for example, stricter control of organic labelling.

As for employer abuses, that's a tough call. It's probably true that there's plenty of laws on the books preventing such things from happening just as it's true that such things continue to happen.

How is that possible? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816373)

"What you do at your home should be purely divorced from your work."

You spend 40 hours a week at work, and the money you make a work provides for all your material needs at home. I don't see how the two could possibly be divorced. I'm not sure why that would be a desirable situation in any case. You shouldn't invest a lot of time in a company like AT&T if you feel that their economic and political goals are in disagreement with what you think is right.

Scummy... (0)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815035)

...but supposing all the employees actually respond, what do you think the FCC is going to make of several hundred thousand email from a single domain owned by a company with vested interests in the process? If they can't spot such blatant astroturfing, I'd be amazed.

Re:Scummy... (2, Informative)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815157)

That aspect was taken into consideration...
FTA:

Cicconi explained how employees could use a personal e-mail account to post comments on the FCC's net neutrality Web site to about the rules.

Re:Scummy... (1)

rimugu (701444) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815255)

You must be new to any government and government like entity.

Begone with yer net neutrality! (0, Flamebait)

beatsme (1472991) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815053)

Spoke the sheep.

There FCC! (5, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815057)

Subtract 300,000 from the tally of folks who are against Net Neutrality!

Actually, subtract 1.2 million because the American family averages 4 people and you know that every AT&T employee will have their spouse and 2 kids lobby. And, if you include the bogus ones that are named for the dog, well, the numbers just keep growing.

Let's just put it this way, every letter against Net Neutrality is bogus because of this.

Re:There FCC! (2, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815143)

What, people's voices don't count once they've been influenced by others? If so, we have to rethink this whole democracy thing.

Re:There FCC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815363)

UNDULY influenced, yes.

These people might do this because they fear for their jobs. The letter practically says that if Net Neutrality is passed, we'll start cutting jobs (like yours).

That's why these "infleunced" voices need to be stricken from the count.

Re:There FCC! (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815463)

The word you are looking for is 'forced', not 'influenced'. And it can no longer be called a democracy.

Re:There FCC! (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816079)

What, people's voices don't count once they've been influenced by others? If so, we have to rethink this whole democracy thing.

modded funny, but the irony is that while the media remains in the hands of the powerful and ever-increasingly few, democracy cannot work, as it depends on the ability of citizens to be informed.

For examples of the failures of democracy, see: any nation in which murdoch's news outlets have gained any modicum of reputation.

Talking points... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815077)

revoked.

i would rather pole serena williams (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815109)

I signed up to be Serena Williams training assistant, but what I got instead I still cannot believe. After being selected, I had an appointment at her estate. The front door was open, and I wandered through her place until I finally heard her behind a door. When I opened the door, I suddenly smelled the overwhelming scent of food. I walked in and saw her lying on a massive table, completely naked, surrounded by massive amounts of food. Loaved of bread, pies, steaks, gallons of water and several containers of buttermilk shakes. She was gorging down and stuffing mouthfulls of good into her mouth. She glanced at me and spoke.

"This is what 24,000 calories of food looks like, I'm gonna need it for for our workout."

I awkwardly stood in the corner until she finished, and watched her gut expand. Finally she hopped off, and squatted down, still nude. She told me to leap on her back. "I need a bit of extra weight so this isnt too easy" she said. I mounted her huge muscular back and hung on like a baby koala. She jumped up with me on her and began jogging through the house, and out the door. She ran for hours, uphill, downhill, across shallow creeks and even climbed up a cliff. I looked down and watched her huge hams of buttocks muscle bounce as she effortlessly carried me along, a perfect physique pulsing with power. Finally nightfall was coming, and she set me down. "Boy" she said "That was a little easy, and all that energy is gone, wanna see what 24,000 calories looks like coming out he other end?" Before I could respond, she bent over and moaned. Finally, a giant geyser of liquid shit launched out several feet, while a blast of urine came out with enough intensity to drill into the dirt. She went for minutes, moaning loudly. Then the pee finished and she began leaking thick white globs of juice. "Sorry" she said "That's because the whole time I was running, I was thinking of your cute face"

Re:i would rather pole serena williams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815475)

This seems to be getting more and more creative...

We're AT&T!!! (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815235)

If you don't like it, see figure 1!!! [cs.tut.fi]

Coming from a high level exec - why not skip? (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815237)

Coming from one of the company's most senior executives, it's hard to imagine AT&T employees thinking the memo was merely a suggestion.

When I've worked for large companies, the further up the chain the less likely I'd be to care whatsoever what it said. That makes this even less of a suggestion, and more like a wish, that anyone may or may not fulfill (or in fact even read as this sounds like a message I would have just skipped over). It's not like a "high level exec" is going to come by the office next Monday and ask how the letter to the FCC is coming!

I don't see anything wrong with a "high level exec" or anyone else saying that if you care about the issue, contact your congressman. Who are YOU to say that all employees agree with what he wants them to say? Meanwhile he has pointed out to them just who to talk to, one way or the other.

Re:Coming from a high level exec - why not skip? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815375)

My experience of senior executives of multinational corporations is that they a) think they're god, b) think they own you, c) expect you to do what they tell you and d) assume laws and morals don't apply to them.

oh, and e) actually *deserve* those bonuses. lol.

Re:Coming from a high level exec - why not skip? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815721)

Yes and they also think you pay attention to what you say, but that does not make any of what you said true... Mostly Harmless.

P.S. - meant execs were not true, not you! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815751)

I meant to indicate that what you said about the beliefs they had were sometimes true, but never accurate on the part of the high-level-exec believing them! Sorry for any bother..

Re:Coming from a high level exec - why not skip? (3, Insightful)

adwarf (1002867) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815561)

Exactly, the CEO tells people things that are important to your company (and thus your job in the sense that if the company does poorly you might be out of one). They assume that their employees are interested in opportunities to help support their company, which may not be true. I get these all the time, if I bother to read them I certainly think of them as a suggestion and nothing more. Now if you were a high level employee and were found out you were lobbying against the interest of the company that is a completely different story (and justifiable from the shareholders point of view).

Re:Coming from a high level exec - why not skip? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815801)

Becasue when management starts applying pressure for you to be a team player people will write the email, and possible CC it to their boss.

really, management telling people to get involved inj one side of a political issue is bad form.

There is no email (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815981)

Becasue when management starts applying pressure for you to be a team player people will write the email, and possible CC it to their boss.

That all sounds very frightening!!!

Until you click on the link and realize it's just a web form (the email is just to say who you are, though I didn't see the form required it). Plus they asked you to post from home, remember? So they can't even track access to the form or your email.

Honestly, how many people would even read the email much less be such a tool as to CC their immediate supervisor? That's an instant Brownnose Badge, I would say.

Re:Coming from a high level exec - why not skip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815957)

So if "high level exec" can send such an email to 300k employees, then a low level grunt ought to be able to do the same, with a possibly dissenting point of view and talking points. Do you think that would be allowed? Of course not.

Verizon did this as well (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815273)

I'm a Verizon employee and received an email sent to basically all different sub-companies and departments about this. They even created a theme site about it, how to take action in different ways...

Will be trying to switch job soon.

Re:Verizon did this as well (4, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815389)

I see.

John, I'm a Verizon internet cop. Put you hands on your monitor, spread your legs, and wait for the Verizon security team to show up.

Thank you for your cooperation.

P.S. You really didn't think that posting as an "AC" would hide your identity from us did you?!

Re:Verizon did this as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815735)

Wow, glad I used John's computer to post that!

Re:Verizon did this as well (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815813)

"Will be trying to switch job soon."

Perhaps the FCC will assist you changing careers.

Re:Verizon did this as well (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816111)

Why not just ignore it? Of course the company is looking out for its own interests, is this somehow a surprise to you? Were you so naive when you accepted the job that you thought that they /wouldn't/?

newworldorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815287)

Oh noez, the koreprits are taking over everybody!!1

Businesses used to hire speakers to conduct speaking tours and preach the pro-business gospel to employees. The US once promoted one such speaker to President. [wikipedia.org] This was back when the US still had an industrial base so this is probably news to our younger readers.

The fact is that business has, over time, become less presumptuous with regard to directly influencing the political thinking of its captive audience. There is nothing 'new' about this facet of 'worldorder' and claiming such is certain ignorance.

In any case this is all perfectly legal despite whatever knee-jerk anti-business reaction you've been trained to have.

is what it should be (1)

Alrescha (50745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815301)

This is the only sort of lobbying that should be allowed
(imnsho)

A.

Re:is what it should be (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815495)

I agree. AT&T and Verizon should be forbidden from donating money or sending lobbyists into Congress, but if the individual human beings want to do the former, then I have no problem with it. Corporations should not have a right to free speech, but people should.

FCC sill has not given US radio space. (2, Interesting)

bobs666 (146801) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815365)

We need to do the last mile our selves. The FCC needs to do there job and give people the right to put our wireless router on the roof and forward local traffic. Until then its communications by the monopoly for the monopoly. We can not get a competition between ISPs until the last mile can be done without total control between 1 or 3 super providers.

After that, perhaps a work program can be set up to run backbone lines as a way to make jobs for people out of work. It's all about creating the infrastructure.

Surprised? You shouldn't be (1)

Woodmeister (7487) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815373)

Now, now folks... we really shouldn't believe this is really all that out-of-the-ordinary.

In fact, it was only a few days ago that Dilbert's company suggested the same thing. [dilbert.com]

See? Same old same old.....

mo3 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815397)

We NEED a Public Option (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815573)

Let AT&T censor their Internet, and we can all switch to the un-filtered Public Option. Hell, it would be way cheaper than Health Care.

good (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815649)

now the FCC can just set a spam filter to trash ever email with the keyword "net neutrality" and go forward in implementing legislation enforcing net neutrality for all common carriers and anyone that breaks net neutrality will be find double and lose common carrier status.

Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29815667)

When I worked at UPS we were instructed to write letters to representatives. The supervisors recited, we wrote and signed. I knew then it was skirting legality, but I was 19 at the time and didn't put up much of a fight. Fast forward ten years and I was asked to do the same thing for another company in the pharm business. That time I laughed.

Re:Nothing new (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815871)

I was once asked by my college to write a letter like that, but I refused. Since the dorm wing with the largest number of letters were supposed to get free pizza, you can imagine I was even more popular in my wing that I am around here.

Re:Nothing new (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816055)

Never underestimate what sheep will sign away for pizza.

Re:Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29816331)

could you elaborate? i'm assuming this was some batshit insane private university right?

Re:Nothing new (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816423)

No it was a public university. The housing department was threatened by something (I don't remember what) and wanted us all to write to the college board or the President of the University. I'd remember the details better if had actually written the letter.

memo (1)

dUN82 (1657647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815709)

Memo: Add memo from Jim to existing and new employment contract.

Tehre going to get into a little (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815779)

trouble if they do this. management telling employees what to do regarding political matters is risky. Ass soon as a few employees claim to feel pressured, their will be a lawsuit.

Everyone is a slave/whore. Humanity is dead (-1, Troll)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29815787)

Do what your corporations say, or get the whip... "nigger".

Great comment from Len Grace AGAINST "neutrality" (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816015)

From the FCC comments, this was too good not to repost here - credit to Len Grace, apparently with Cable Digital News:

The Federal Communications Commission recently led discussions on proposed Net Neutrality Rules including, broadband speeds to be adopted for those companies using federal dollars to upgrade their networks. This comes at the same time the FCC is proposing to provide the underpinnings of a governmental mandate to; serve the underserved.

This is yet another dangerous road the FCC is attempting to navigate from a top-down regulatory standpoint, and could simply derail the original efforts to have success in the broadband investment philosophy it generated.

Here are the perilous implications:

Mandating ISP speeds on the front end of legislation could impede private investment from taking on the challenges of serving sparsely populated or lower demographic areas

Creating an open and share all approach for content access will again scare off potential investors who will be suspect of reaching respectable returns on their money

The burgeoning internet advertising market will be hampered, or even stopped, from investing in the very sector the FCC is attempting to help grow and prosper

These are the important issues related to recent discussions on Net Neutrality to be addressed, but need to be considered while proposing to regulate an industry on the verge of creating just the applications and services that consumers want with internet connections. My message to the FCC is; do not blow the very opportunity to let private investment create the infrastructure, content and applications which you have incented them to accomplish, by over regulating those companies into inaction.

It continues to be evident that the best incentive would be to take a hands-off approach to regulation while providing the capital incentive for the networks to build out their infrastructures. What scares Wall Street more than anything is the prospect of heavy regulation that will stifle investment opportunities. This has a negative effect on company stocks, shareholders, and the willingness of private investment to flourish, and in essence, get the job done.

The FCC should be promoting a healthy investment and competition environment rather than a heavy-handed regulatory approach for the future of Internet access. This would create the (win-win) situation the government agency is looking for, whether it realizes the implications, or not.

Re:Great comment from Len Grace AGAINST "neutralit (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816311)

What scares Wall Street more than anything is the prospect of heavy regulation that will stifle investment opportunities.

You're right. Wall Street is going to have to choose between investment opportunities at AT&T and investment opportunities in content-producing corporations. Given the utter inability of the majority of Wall Street to think beyond next quarter's earning reports, I have full faith that they will choose to invest in AT&T, and once the steams, youtubes and itunes of the world close down and nobody bothers to pay for broadband anymore because there's nothing to download on it, these investors will be screaming and crying at the government for my tax money.

It used to be that establishing barriers to entry required either natural law or the participation of the government. The FCC should be promoting a healthy competition environment, but the only thing that would get the regulators assassinated faster than network neutrality regulations would be invalidating local franchise contracts and actually doing something about the monopolies.

Even with all of that, it's going to take more than some "healthy investment" to rout AT&T. It's going to take several waves of suicidal nutcases investing billions of dollars in "alternate" internet infrastructure, each round wearing down AT&T's monopoly war chest until AT&T can no longer deny the competition.

Yes and no (2, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816093)

"Coming from one of the company’s most senior executives, it’s hard to imagine AT&T employees thinking the memo was merely a suggestion."

We get periodic emails along similar lines, couched as suggestions, in the large bank in which I am a cog. Know what happens? The vast majority of our 10s of thousands of employees just ignore them. They often get lost in the daily email noise. I suspect that the people at AT&T are no different. And surprise! no repercussions, because they /are/ just suggestions.

I don't like this in any way (it also irritates me when they do it at work), but to imply that people are somehow being coerced into actually doing as stated in the email it is its own kind of aggravating. Try to give us drones some credit, eh?

Now pardon me, I've got to go -- I almost forgot to write out my monthly check to our PAC!

300,000 employees? (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 4 years ago | (#29816147)

they may as well lobby, they sure aren't working hard to extend coverage.

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