Little voice

If you work for AT&T, don’t read this blog entry

Apparently, AT&T has initiated a plan called “Project Pinnacle,” a companywide effort to cut costs while boosting profit margins as high as 40 per cent. Part of how they’re doing is by doing what many service-based US companies are now doing: Outsourcing service jobs to India. Last week, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran an article leaking AT&T’s plans, suggesting that as many as 70 per cent of the company’s IT US-based people could lose their jobs.

When AT&T employees went online to read the piece, they found that the company was blocking access to it. There’s a note about this on the web site of Washtech, the IT-workers’ union:

“Warning Notice,” the alert reads. “You have attempted to access a site that has been deemed inappropriate by our business and blocked from ALL internal access. A record of this request has been logged and will be provided to Business Security upon request.”

Below the message, in capital letters, a line reads, “PLEASE REFRAIN FROM ANY FURTHUR ATTEMPTS!”

Company employees who spoke to WashTech News on the condition that they would not be identified said that currently navigating from their work computer to any Internet site that carries news reports critical of AT&T Wireless produces a similar alert, but the sites are now accessible.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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