Brier Dudley's Blog
Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.
August 8, 2007 5:26 PM
Posted by Brier Dudley
Still think net neutrality concerns are overblown? Keep in mind AT&T's "content monitors."
Pearl Jam protested when an overzealous AT&T content monitor cut political comments from a Web cast of the band's Lollapalooza performance on Sunday.
The Seattle band had inserted the lyrics "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush find yourself another home" into a song, but they were missing from the Web cast.
When asked, AT&T told Lollapalooza that the monitor made a mistake and the lyrics would be restored, according to a writeup today on Pearl Jam's Web site. An excerpt:
This, of course, troubles us as artists but also as citizens concerned with the issue of censorship and the increasingly consolidated control of the media.
AT&T's actions strike at the heart of the public's concerns over the power that corporations have when it comes to determining what the public sees and hears through communications media.
As Pearl Jam pointed out, the incident undermines the public statements by the likes of AT&T's chief executive "that fears his company and other big network providers would block traffic on their networks are overblown."
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Gadgets and games | Fun stuff I've written about lately includes Apple's iPhone, Hewlett-Packard's HDX laptop and Microsoft's Halo3. Also on the radar are new digital video boxes such as the Tivo HD and the Vudu.