The news that T-Mobile is blocking Twitter, so that T-Mobile subscribers cannot update their status remotely, is bad news on several levels.
First of all, the immediate issue is the disruption of service, and the annoyance factor involved for those users.
The greater issue is the power play involved, where a cellular provider – who has been granted a license to use our radio spectrum by our government – believes that they can turn off a popular service without any debate or notice.
This is an example of enclosing the commons – those in power abusing their position and limiting our access to shared resources that they have been designated to manage by the government. In Edwardian England, the gentry often turned the shared commons of villages throughout the country into farmland, displacing the rural citizens from an area from which they had gained food, wood, thatch, and other necessities. These well-off landowners became rich through war-time food production, while the yeomanry were displaced for a few shillings, and had to accept jobs on the farms, paid what the landowners determined adequate.
This is an example of an abuse of power that – in principle – we should look to the government to counter: specifically the FCC. However, with Bush II in the White House, we can expect no help from that quarter.
Nope. Just like the Facebook Beacon mess, this will have to be a public hue-and-cry: we, the Edglings, must speak truth to power.
T-Mobile: Whatever rights you think you have, you are abusing them. You are clueless. You will have to back down from this stupid policy before it becomes a public relations disaster. But you will never ever, no matter what actions you take now, get a nickel of my money, ever again.