Every now and then a company manages to issue a statement so bursting at the seams with hypocritical bullshit that we’re forced to take a step back in awe. Today is such a day.
Because here’s the thing: AT&T, it seems, now fancies itself a passionate supporter of net neutrality so much so that its Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs penned a lengthy pledge in favor of the July 12 net neutrality Day of Action.
What’s the Day of Action, you ask? Well, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has oh so helpfully looked to weaken existing rules forcing internet service providers to treat all online content equally. Essentially, the FCC wants to trash net neutrality, and a bunch of nonprofits, companies, and advocacy groups are teaming up on July 12 to tell them no.
Shockingly, AT&T now claims to be one of those ready to fight the good fight.
That’s right, the telecommunications conglomerate that famously limited the use of FaceTime to customers with more expensive data plans is now supposedly a friend of the open internet. Yes, the very same Mark Wahlberg-faced behemoth that battled tooth-and-nail against the 2015 FCC decision to classify ISPs as common carriers wants you to know that it’s totally on your side.
But don’t take our word for it, let’s let AT&T Senior Executive VP Bob Quinn serenade what he hopes to be your pliant ears.
“Tomorrow, AT&T will join the ‘Day of Action’ for preserving and advancing an open internet,” wrote Quinn somehow miraculously not choking on hypocrisy in the process. “This may seem like an anomaly to many people who might question why AT&T is joining with those who have differing viewpoints on how to ensure an open and free internet. But thats exactly the point we all agree that an open internet is critical for ensuring freedom of expression and a free flow of ideas and commerce in the United States and around the world.”
But before anyone gets too excited that AT&T is now a friend of the open internet, let’s read a little bit farther down the page.
“In the end, the issue is never really about what the rules should be or whether we should have an open internet,” noted Quinn, whose company, remember, would benefit from the gutting of existing rules.”Rather, the debate focuses on whether open internet rules should derive from the 80-year-old Communications Act or some other theory of Congressional authority because the current law predates the internet.”
Got that? The argument isn’t about what the rules should be, Quinn argues, it’s about the legal basis for rules in the first place!
The internet was not having it.
So make sure to keep your eyes out for AT&T-sponsored missives during the July 12 Day of Action. After all, it wouldn’t be any fun to slip on that pile of hypocritical bullshit.