Verizon rep spotlights protest aimed at AT&T network

Via Twitter, a contributor to Verizon's policy blog links to a story about AT&T users' plans to take down AT&T's network via "Operation Chokehold." Is he encouraging participation by linking to it?

Unless you've been living in a cave, you probably know about the protracted feud between Verizon Wireless and AT&T that's basically turned into the world's biggest and most expensive Internet flame war.

But Tuesday, that online strife entered the real world. Some AT&T users are reportedly organizing a plan to "take down the network" this Friday at noon. The idea is to overload the network with data and make it unusable to "send the message to AT&T that we are sick of their substandard network and sick of their abusive comments."

While I'm all right with civil disobedience in more pressing matters, I'm not going to participate in "Operation Chokehold." For one thing, AT&T is fine (I've written about what I feel the network's real problems are ), and I don't think anyone needs to stage a stunt to "send AT&T a message;" the company knows there are issues. But as an iPhone user I could be affected by it.

What's also got me worried is that John Czwartacki, a contributor to Verizon's Policy Blog, has linked to a post about the action on his Twitter account.

According to Verizon's Web site, Czwartacki "directs a range of external communications efforts, including serving as 'Blog Editor' for the company's first Web log and as coordinator of outreach to digital and other select media." As a representative for Verizon, is he advocating this action on behalf of Verizon? Is Verizon formally encouraging this kind of behavior on its rival's network?

If so, isn't that crossing the line? We've been bombarded with squabbles about who has the better network, but now one participant is taking action that might have real-world consequences. I need my phone to work, and Czwartacki may be encouraging people to make it not. That doesn't make me want to switch to Verizon; it makes me angry. Czwartacki, can we keep it civil?

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.

     

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