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  • "Operation Chokehold" Spreading


    A plan to flood AT&T's network as a protest against the carrier's service is building momentum on the Web... and AT&T is not amused. Started with a single post by popular blogger Fake Steve Jobs, "Operation Chokehold" will have iPhone users soak the network for one hour starting at 12 noon Pacific Standard time on Friday, December 18. AT&T calls it "irresponsible and pointless scheme to draw attention to a blog," in a statement released on Tuesday.

    Fake Steve Jobs is the online identity of Newsweek writer Dan Lyons. His blog, "The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs," features satirical takes on issues of the day delivered in the voice of a sort of Steve Jobs-meets-Dr.-Evil (or Steve-Jobs-IS-Dr.-Evil) character. On Monday, Fake Steve Jobs wrote the following:

    I’m really blown away by the way people have responded to AT&T’s bastardly behavior over bandwidth usage. 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. They’re calling it Operation Chokehold. Last night I got this email that they’ve been sending around inside Apple, encouraging people to join the crusade:

    Subject: Operation Chokehold
    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!
    The post came after after Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Wireless, hinted that the carrier may go to usage-based pricing for heavy data users: read "iPhone owners." The outrage spread rapidly. "An American company creates a brilliant phone," Fake Steve Jobs wrote, "and that company hands it to you, and gives you an exclusive deal to carry it - and all you guys can do is complain about how much people want to use it."

    AT&T, understandably, doesn't find this all that funny. In a statement to the Cult of Mac blog, a company spokesman said:

    We understand that fakesteve.net is primarily a satirical forum, but there is nothing amusing about advocating that customers attempt to deliberately degrade service on a network that provides critical communications services for more than 80 million customers. We know that the vast majority of customers will see this action for what it is: an irresponsible and pointless scheme to draw attention to a blog.
    In an amusing reaction, some loyal AT&T customers have created something called Operation Cuckoo opposing the action. From their Facebook page:

    ... you don't urge AT&T to improve its network and terms by attempting to bring it down or violating your contract with the entity. Much the same as you don't put out a fire with a gasoline shower.
    Ideas for disruptiing AT&T's network on Friday include:
    • Turning off WiFi
    • Streaming YouTube videos
    • Streaming live video with the new USTREAM Live Broadcaster app
    • Streaming high-bandwidth video from Akamai’s iPhone Showcase site

    One commenter on Gizmodo's story on Operation Chokehold quipped: "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."

    image via The Unofficial Apple Weblog
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "Operation Chokehold" Spreading started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 89 Comments
    1. tgabriel123's Avatar
      tgabriel123 -
      hadskasddskahdasdhaskd
    1. compton,Tx's Avatar
      compton,Tx -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Maestro View Post
      Thanks bro hence why I said i had to wait
      No! Once again you won't be waiting. Since 3pm Eastern time is 12pm Pacific time there will be no wait! Bro
    1. devteamtools's Avatar
      devteamtools -
      honestly, if i wasnt on tmobile right now, id be all for this :P
    1. matthew1111's Avatar
      matthew1111 -
      If I had an iPhone I would do this..as it is, maube I'll go to the Apple Store and put all the iPhones there on data-intensive!
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Quote Originally Posted by matthew1111 View Post
      If I had an iPhone I would do this..as it is, maube I'll go to the Apple Store and put all the iPhones there on data-intensive!
      iPhones at the Apple store do not have active SIMs in the phones, only at the At&t store.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Quote Originally Posted by compton,Tx View Post
      No! Once again you won't be waiting. Since 3pm Eastern time is 12pm Pacific time there will be no wait! Bro
      WTF are you talking about? He will have to wait. Wait til 3 his time. Yes, it all happens at the same time, but he does have to wait until further on in his day to participate.

      Either way, I really hope you don't participate, unless you actually enjoy being part of a pointless cause.
    1. andypropaganda's Avatar
      andypropaganda -
      Quote Originally Posted by The Maestro View Post
      Yes Im so in! AT&T pisses me off, I'll prolly have to wait cause I'm on the east coast
      LOL Oh man, you just made my day.
    1. The Maestro's Avatar
      The Maestro -
      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      WTF are you talking about? He will have to wait. Wait til 3 his time. Yes, it all happens at the same time, but he does have to wait until further on in his day to participate.

      Either way, I really hope you don't participate, unless you actually enjoy being part of a pointless cause.
      I'm sure we can all agree It won't make the network better but it will show them our anger, but them to hard work for an hour, and have to answer lots of complaints

      it's no solution but it's a step to getting the point across

      Quote Originally Posted by andypropaganda View Post
      LOL Oh man, you just made my day.
      do explain
    1. jayson9's Avatar
      jayson9 -
      I'm in!!!!!!!

      The person who dreamt this up should get alot of cudos. If it works, I only hope Verizon finds a way to use this in a comercial somehow - so that it really steams AT&T's @ss for days!

      BTW, for those (who live in one of the 5 or so cities with GREAT 3G coverage) that think this will cause AT&T to raise our fees, big deal - don't participate. The rest of us with crap coverage will fill in for you..........!
    1. hitsue's Avatar
      hitsue -
      this is just gonna slow down the network for 1 hour, okay. Is it just like when people are trying to use their cell phones during 9-11 and getting a busy signal.
    1. ronfin44's Avatar
      ronfin44 -
      Quote Originally Posted by hancoma View Post
      Allow me to play devil's advocate.
      Could this not be considered an attack, similar to a denial of service?
      It is also very easy for ATT to find out who participated in this with data logging of the phones...
      Call me paranoid, but I really don't want a piece of this..
      Um, no. If someone starts streaming or using a large quantity of data at Noon PST, it can be pure coincidence considering the shear number of users and how often people use data (like myself), and if at&t was to somehow deny these customers service and or attempt to punish them otherwise, it could/would open a Pandora's Box of legal problems. So do it or don't do it. I'm sure Verizon will get a kick out of this. :/
    1. hancoma's Avatar
      hancoma -
      Quote Originally Posted by ronfin44 View Post
      Um, no. If someone starts streaming or using a large quantity of data at Noon PST, it can be pure coincidence considering the shear number of users and how often people use data (like myself), and if at&t was to somehow deny these customers service and or attempt to punish them otherwise, it could/would open a Pandora's Box of legal problems. So do it or don't do it. I'm sure Verizon will get a kick out of this. :/
      Actually, it would be very easy for ATT to simply run a pareto to develop a baseline usage history of all users that are using 3g data during the chokehold period. The baseline data can be used to establish users 3g usage habits, and particular peak times of usage.

      If users are deviating out of normal 3g usage and 3g times, it can be 'assumed' they are participants in the choke hold operation.


      I know it seems laughable, but at a company I worked at, we developed such a program to parse out personnels internet usage on company time by user name, data used and time. This happens more than we think in this wonderful digital age.

      This being said, I seriously doubt ATT would want to spend the resources doing this as it is time consuming (unless they already have a program to pareto data, which they may have in order to analyze 3g bandwidth compared to peak usage times.)

      I also do not believe this is going to provide the desired results.
    1. ALL DAY's Avatar
      ALL DAY -
      Cool, queers... ***** and complain to get what you want, typical douches. If you take part in this, you are undoubtedly a gigantic **** who probably doesn't understand ATT's service anyways.

      Go buy a T-Mobile Nokia, idiots.
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      This is not going to really prove anything. It may just cause a small hiccup in the network but if any other phone company would have accepted Apple's bid to bring the iPhone to their network they would have faced the same issue. To bring any type of telecommunication to it's knees it takes a disaster. Take the I-35 bridge collapse in Minnesota. Minutes after that happend all our sites communication went down. We had no land lines, cell phones and internet. All 3 services are provided by different companies. The only way we knew about it at our job site, which is 15 miles away, was because a courier mentioned it to us 30 minutes after the event. We had no idea because we don't listen to main radio and our phones could not get or send calls, even land lines. An hour of some people using video services will not be much.

      I would find it funny if some of the people that participate in this do it and forget to turn off wifi. Also if you load a long YouTube video doesn't it just cache it. So you take a minute or so to download a 9 min video, which would still leave about 8 mins of no data.
    1. ty22's Avatar
      ty22 -
      Down with AT&T!
    1. yahoowizard's Avatar
      yahoowizard -
      This isn't illegal...doesn't violate terms of service
    1. Cer0's Avatar
      Cer0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by yahoowizard View Post
      This isn't illegal...doesn't violate terms of service
      It doesn't but it could be seen as an attack on a network. Sort of like how someone mentioned earlier about DoS attack. DoS attacks are not illegal here in the US but in the UK they are. So they should be safe.

      I don't have issues with ATT and never have, even to all the places I travel. But good luck to those with this. Like I mentioned ealier it more than likely won't do much and the places it will are the areas that already have an issue holding load so most people will shrug it off.
    1. bruinsrme's Avatar
      bruinsrme -
      And what happens when the network ends up supporting the attempted dos?
      AT&T will look like heroes.
      Good luck with whatever it's being called.
    1. iBwizzle's Avatar
      iBwizzle -
      Thanks to YourTube Cracked I will be downloading "High Quality" videos from YouTube within that hour. Anybody that doesn't agree with this is a punk... It's only for 1 hour. Fix your Service AT&T. I'm tried of drop calls.
    1. santaf's Avatar
      santaf -
      Quote Originally Posted by TooSlo View Post
      I would try to get in on some of the action.... but alas, I only have EDGE service in my building at work.....

      This is truly disheartening now, considering a week ago I actually had some type of signal. I blame the rain.

      i feel your pain in the lame washington rain

      and i'm not sure if i'm in or not seems really stupid lets bring down the network we rely on to be connected with everyone else... seems like we are skrewing ourselves over to me

      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      WTF are you talking about? He will have to wait. Wait til 3 his time. Yes, it all happens at the same time, but he does have to wait until further on in his day to participate.

      Either way, I really hope you don't participate, unless you actually enjoy being part of a pointless cause.
      hahahahaha thanks for saying what i was about to say until i ready your post