The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Dial M for-- hello? Hello!?!

If you haven't seen the comedy The President's Analyst, it's worth watching. It's funny, if dated. That is, its paranoia regarding government spying and the control giant corporations have over our lives was dated a decade ago. Also if you haven't seen the movie, I'm about to spoil the ending. After desperately trying to escape the clutches of not only the KGB and other foreign spy agencies, but America's own intelligence community, the protagonist finds that he can't escape the ultimate menace: the phone company.

Anyone who was at Sunday's Pearl Jam show closing the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago would have seen the band in a political mood. Eddie Vedder invited an injured Iraq war soldier up to the stage and called on the audience to work for peace in the Middle East. And in the middle of a performance of "Daughter," Vedder sang "George Bush, leave this world alone" and "George Bush find yourself another home" to the tune of "Another Brick in the Wall."

But if you were at home listening to the show on the Webcast being provided by AT&T, you would have missed those lines. As the band writes on its site, the Web transmission cut out the protest lines. AT&T says its monitor did so by mistake -- what a strangely precise and politically convenient mistake!

The band says the company's actions highlight the need for action on "network neutrality" -- the fight for regulations prohibiting broadband firms from making decisions about what content is and is not allowed on their networks. AT&T is currently fighting network neutrality, helping the NSA spy on Americans, and developing a way for Hollywood to police the Internet.

With links. Check it out.