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AT&T accuses Google of a vast conspiracy, including using its "monopoly" to control the media, control user's internet traffic, and silence its opponents.  (Source: The Independent)
A new letter from AT&T to the federal government makes it clear that the company has little love for Google

If there's one thing clear from the Google Voice iPhone debacle, it's that there's no love lost between AT&T and Google.  AT&T, to date, is accusing Google of everything from political and news manipulation, to violating net neutrality.

The drama surrounding the rejection began shortly after when the Federal Communications Commission opened an inquiry into who was responsible for the rejection of Google Voice and whether the rejection violated any federal laws or rules.  AT&T quickly responded that it did not mastermind the rejection, and that it was Apple's doing.  Apple followed up, taking the blame and say it was working to get the app approved.

Then came a second response from AT&T.  Apparently in a sharing mood, AT&T sounded off against Google and complained to the FCC that it believes Google Voice breaks the law.  Since AT&T has allowed VoIP apps onto the iPhone, but Google Voice is still no where to be found.  Now AT&T has delivered a third letter to the FCC further attacking the internet giant.

While Google has been attacked by many -- newspaper moguls, telecoms, and internet rivals -- the new letter is perhaps the harshest conglomerated criticism leveled against the company to date.  Written by Robert W. Quinn, Jr., an AT&T Senior Vice President, the letter entitled "Google Voice; Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates for Local Exchange Carriers" opens claiming Google is a hypocrite when it comes to net neutrality.

Mr. Quinn writes:

As the debate regarding “net neutrality” has evolved, it appeared on the surface that all parties shared the same desire to preserve the “free and open” nature of the Internet, a goal enunciated by [FCC] Chairman Genachowski with which we heartily agree."

As communications services increasingly migrate to broadband Internet-based platforms, we can now see the power of Internet-based applications providers to act as gatekeepers who can threaten the “free and open” Internet. Google’s double-standard for “openness” – where Google does what it wants while other providers are subject to Commission regulations – is plainly inconsistent with the goal of preserving a “free and open” Internet ecosystem.

The letter claims that Google's explanation that it is only blocking certain kinds of rural calls like adult sex-chat lines, to avoid high fees leveled against the free service, is a lie.  The letter accuses Google of conspiracy, saying it also blocked calls to an ambulance service, church, bank, law firm, automobile dealer, day spa, orchard, health clinic, tax preparation service, community center, eye doctor, tribal community college, school, residential consumers, a convent of Benedictine nuns, and the campaign office of a U.S. Representative.

According to AT&T, Google is "abus[ing] its market power".  AT&T insists Google is not exempt, either from being free or being internet-based, from federal regulations that prevent such call blocking.

The letter also calls Google a monopoly, citing, "In preparing a complaint to challenge the Google/Yahoo arrangement, the [U.S.] Department [of Justice] reportedly concluded that Google had a “monopoly” in these markets and the proposed arrangement “would have furthered [Google’s] monopoly."

Furthermore, AT&T accuses Google of practicing broad-scale manipulation of the media.  It says that Google blocked political advertisements from Senator Susan Collins, due to her criticism of, a Google net neutrality partner.  It also accuses Google of blocking the Inner City Press from Google News, as the publication criticized the United Nation Development Programme, a Google-sponsored program.

It then goes on to accuse Google of illegitimately "buying" ads in its own auction to push its agenda for keywords such as "net neutrality". The letter concludes, "Ironically, Google appears oblivious to the hypocrisy of its net neutrality advocacy relative to its own conduct. [A]t the same time, Google exploits the dominance of its search engine and its gatekeeping power over other applications to give its preferred content greater visibility than its political opponents’ content or to simply block its competitors’ applications altogether."

"Deliberately narrowing the principles to award Google a special privilege to play by its own rules – or no rules at all – would be grossly unfair, patently unlawful, and a renunciation of President Obama’s assurance that the Commission’s Internet Policy Statement would be used to “ensure there’s a level playing field” between competitors. Thus, the Commission’s first fundamental step in leveling that playing field must be to unequivocally re-affirm in its proposed rulemaking that it will not exempt Google from whatever rules it ultimately adopts."

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RE: Not a complete lie
By Master Kenobi on 10/16/2009 1:47:35 PM , Rating: 1
5.Bush & Cheney's use of Torture is probably the biggest most shameful thing this country has ever done and they and every one involved should be tried for war crimes.

I fully support the use of torture on certain targets that prove to be high value and uncooperative. Besides, our form of torture is quite tame. Water boarding is very very tame compared to say hooking your nuts up to a car battery.

RE: Not a complete lie
By dark matter on 10/16/2009 2:54:09 PM , Rating: 4
Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Reminds me of what the used to do with witches in England. They used to strap them in a wooden cage, force their mouths open and plop them in a lake. If they drown they were innocent, if they lived they were a witch. Hey, lets torture this guy, if he doesn't know anything he is innocent...

Besides, the evidence from someone who is being tortured is completely unreliable.

If I were to strap you up to a car battery, you would pretty tell me anything I wanted to hear. Not what is the actual truth.

You also lose any moral high ground that you claim to have and become no more barbaric than those attempting to inflict terrorism on you.

But then, dear Master Kenobi you are a complete ill educated douche bag. I think you have watched too much Hollywood. In fact, your very title gives it away.

RE: Not a complete lie
By MrBlastman on 10/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Not a complete lie
By Alexstarfire on 10/16/2009 8:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
I think you should quantify that with PROVEN.

If their guilt is still in question then it's just not right, period.

RE: Not a complete lie
By Master Kenobi on 10/17/2009 2:48:02 AM , Rating: 2
Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?

You are trying to apply domestic law enforcement measures to a war zone. I'm sure the number of people captured with good intelligence information is small, but they still need to be run through the same interrogations to make sure they don't have any tidbits of information we might find useful later. You've been watching too many cop shows.

Hey, lets torture this guy, if he doesn't know anything he is innocent...

If he doesn't know anything he's still an enemy combatant and is likely going to do hard time. This innocent or guilty fallacy is just that, false. These guys were picked up in a war zone, intelligence either pointed to them, or they were caught in the act of doing something. Last time I checked we didn't patrol the streets and pickup every random individual we came across.

If I were to strap you up to a car battery, you would pretty tell me anything I wanted to hear. Not what is the actual truth.

Information is information. It's up to the interrogator to see if the information obtained pans out. Should we not even bother with these guys if the information they would be giving might not be accurate? In that case, why bother taking them prisoner? Intelligence gathering is very messy and is far from clear cut. Collecting information from people is every bit as inaccurate as collecting it elsewhere in the field.

You also lose any moral high ground that you claim to have and become no more barbaric than those attempting to inflict terrorism on you.

I don't claim any moral high ground. It's not like our guys aren't being tortured/beheaded/mutilated if they are captured. They can rest easy that we probably aren't going to kill them, but their capture will be no less of a picnic. The first rule of warfare is that there are no rules. It would be good for people to understand that war is a messy business.

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