by Mike Masnick
Mon, Oct 26th 2009 2:18am
So, remember last week when we wrote about how anti-net neutrality lobbyists from AT&T had crafted astroturf letters for various "special interest groups" to sign -- but someone forgot to remove the boilerplate "XYZ Organization" in the first paragraph? We also noted that there was little evidence that the group -- the Arkansas Retired Seniors -- actually existed. However, Matt Cutts did a bit of digging and found that the name of the guy who signed the letter -- Bob Sells -- appears to have worked in PR for Southwestern Bell for 28 years (there appears to be only one Bob Sells or Robert Sells in Little Rock). Southwestern Bell, of course, became better known as SBC. SBC, of course, became AT&T after it bought the old AT&T and took on its name. So, if you're an AT&T lobbyist and you want to convince the FCC that "seniors" are against net neutrality -- and you don't want it to appear to come from AT&T employees -- who better to go to than an ex-employee? Still, next time you get a former employee to shill for you, remember to replace the bogus XYZ Organization you left for him in the text of the letter you sent him.
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