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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 omnicronx on 10/16/2009 1:49:51 PM , Rating: 1
Bush didn't cause 9/11: Clinton did. It was Clinton's "ignore it" philosophy of foreign policy that got us in this mess.
Haha.. ya Clinton just totally ignored everything, of course he was involved in more peace talks and foreign policy than either Bush ever was, but sure lets blame him. Playing the 9/11 blame game is nothing but childesh, it was no single Presidents fault, it was the result of 50+ years of terrible foreign policy.

Blaming Clinton for the economic crash is nothing but childish too. Pull your heads out of your ***'s, it was bad decisions compounded by both parties over the years.

Playing the blame game never helped anyone or anything, its not going to make your country better, quite the opposite actually, its the best stall tactic known to man..
Bush sent the message out that we weren't going to bend over and take it anymore. So the rest of the world hated it? I don't care. I DO care that nearly 3000 Americans lost their lives to something stupid that COULD have been prevented if action was taken years earlier
*shakes head* And how many innocent lives were lost in Iraq and Afghanistan since then? Instead of resolving the reason for conflict, you feel that sending a message is the better idea. Please tell me how that has worked out for all the rest of the worlds previous super powers and get back to me. (*hint* not very well)

RE: Not a complete lie
By MrBlastman on 10/17/2009 1:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
*shakes head* And how many innocent lives were lost in Iraq and Afghanistan since then? Instead of resolving the reason for conflict, you feel that sending a message is the better idea. Please tell me how that has worked out for all the rest of the worlds previous super powers and get back to me. (*hint* not very well)

Going in to Iraq in the first place was a zealous attempt by Bush to make up for his Father's failings. That is all it was. I was against going in there in the first place but... we did.

So, since we were there, we might as well try to make the place better. Ask some Iraqi's and they'll probably tell you we have. As some soldiers and they'll probably tell you they are doing some good. I have. I've asked a few actually. Have you?

I even go out of my way to thank them for serving our nation in public. They've earned it, moreso than most of us.

Afghanistan... That was sending a message. Unfortunately, Bush had his head lodged up his behind about Iraq and sent us in there before properly securing Afghanistan. As a result, the nation is still in conflict and the Taliban has grown stronger again. We tried to fight a war on two fronts and wonder why the enemy had time to regroup and come back at us with even more.

However, our Soldiers were doing as they were told. They took the orders and ran with it. I can't fault them for doing that and now that it has been done, we can't exactly just run away from the mess we have created without trying to patch it up and fix it. To do so would be wreckless and the least responsible thing we could do. We owe it to the people over there to try and make it better.

It is like that old saying when you were a child visiting the expensive crystal section of a department store: "Break it, you buy it."

Well, we broke it and now we've bought it. I think we're seeing some positive things come out of it finally but not without lives lost, both civilian and military.

The funny thing is--sitting around and trying to talk to Terrorists is a waste of time. The only thing they understand, the only thing they respect, is a lead core covered with a full metal copper jacket. That is all they deserve for senselessly murdering our people out of cold blood. I'm not talking just about 9/11, I'm talking about other incidents such as that Pan Am flight, the USS Cole or how about the Embassy bombing. All of those people died for what? For some terrorist to send us a message?

Going up to them and trying to apologize for whatever pissed them off and trying to make peaceful amends is a joke. There is no negotiation and they're better off looking down our barrels as our bullets exit at them. The Middle East has been at war for centuries and it will never change. We need to fix the mess "we" created as best we can and get out. They retaliate, we hit them back again.

I'm convinced that really the only ultimate solution is to build a wall around the whole place and arm it with sentry guns. Somehow though, I don't think that will happen.

RE: Not a complete lie
By Master Kenobi on 10/17/2009 2:50:43 AM , Rating: 2
Your correct on the terrorists. Negotiation and appeasement will get us nowhere fast. Somehow though many people still believe it will.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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