Feeds

'Steve Jobs' dupes blogosphere with AT&T protest hoax

Operation Chokehold (not) set for Friday

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A web-borne - and, for that matter, web-born - movement to spank AT&T this Friday which started as a hoax has taken on a life of its own.

On Monday, the ever-risible lampoon site The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs published a parody proposal ostensibly from Apple engineers called Operation Chokehold that calls upon iPhone users to flood AT&T data networks this coming Friday.

According to Fake Steve (aka Daniel Lyons, late of Forbes, now of Newsweek), he received an email from said engineers that read:

On Friday, December 18, at noon Pacific time, we will attempt to overwhelm the AT&T data network and bring it to its knees. The goal is to have every iPhone user (or as many as we can) turn on a data intensive app and run that app for one solid hour. Send the message to AT&T that we are sick of their substandard network and sick of their abusive comments. The idea is we’ll create a digital flash mob. We’re calling it in Operation Chokehold. Join us and speak truth to power!

Fake Steve approved of the plan to demonstrate AT&T's "bastardly behavior over bandwidth usage," noting that: "Our engineers are friggin livid. And, because they’re engineers, which means they're basically evil little pricks, they've come up with a plan to teach AT&T a lesson."

That plan may have started as satire, but it's gathering steam as an actual protest - so much so that commentary about Operation Chokehold is choking the web.

And then there's veteran opinionmeister Dave Winer, who tweeted his surprise, possibly because he himself had recently suggested his own idea for a protest: a more benign but not nearly as rousing one-day boycott of AT&T by iPhone owners.

Commentards on the aforementioned sites are also taking Fake Steve seriously, offering such advice as remembering to turn off WiFi and suggesting appropriate data-sucking apps. Another poster, however, noted darkly that "Denial of service attacks are illegal in the US under 12 different statutes, including the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act."

Yet another commentard, when informed that bringing AT&T down might affect emergency services, noted: "Good point! However, if somebody does die due to a missed 911 call, at least it will be for a good cause." But according to another commenter: "911 calls are routed for free to any available network, like T-Mobile. If ATT crashes, you can still call 911. Don't worry."

People, people, people... Fake Steve is a satirist. Operation Chokehold is a joke.

Yes, AT&T has done a piss-poor job of managing the bandwidth requirements put upon it by the überpopular iPhone. And yes, the company's Mobility honcho Ralph de la "Darth" Vega recently insulted suffering customers by suggesting that they're data hogs who need to "understand what represents a megabyte of data" or he'll throttle their data access.

But here's our prediction: Friday will come and Friday will go, and AT&T's service - or lack of it - will remain the same. As one commenter to Gizmodo's report on Operation Chokehold remarked: "I have one problem with this. How do we know if the operation is underway? I don't think I'll be able to tell the difference." ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.