AT&T's Ridiculous Argument Against Google Voice
from the break-it-down dept
But the latest letter/PR play from AT&T sinks to ridiculous lows -- and it's a shame that no reporter I've seen so far calls AT&T on any of the crazy claims. While there's some fun in mocking the use of nuns (who are apparently also blocked), AT&T's "slippery slope" argument isn't just questionable, it's wrong:
Indeed, if the Commission cannot stop Google from blocking disfavored telephone calls as Google contends, then how could the Commission ever stop Google from also blocking disfavored websites from appearing in the results of its search engine; or prohibit Google from blocking access to applications that compete with its own email, text messaging, cloud computing and other services; or otherwise prevent Google from abusing the gatekeeper control it wields over the Internet?But... uh... that's the thing. The FCC cannot stop Google from also blocking disfavored websites from appearing in its results. That's because Google has every right to determine what sites appear in its index and which don't -- and the courts have said exactly that in the past. Google's rankings and site index are Google's own opinion, and there's no legal right for Google to include anyone if it chooses not to. Google knows this. The FCC knows this. AT&T certainly knows this -- so why is it pretending that this is some big issue?
Then there's the claim about Google "blocking access to applications that compete with its own email, text messaging, cloud computing and other services." Except... Google physically cannot block such things, because Google is not the pipe. If I want to go to another email service provider, I just type that URL into my address bar, and Google isn't a party to that at all. The only one who could block such a thing is (oops) my ISP: AT&T. So why even make this argument? It's totally nonsensical.
Obviously, AT&T is having fun poking at Google over this particular issue, but, honestly it should at least limit its complaints to things that actually make sense.