Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Suddenlink Pipes Up....11/6

Received this as a comment, thought it deserved a top billing:

I apologize for the anonymous label. I don't have a Blogger account for work purposes.

In short, I’m with Suddenlink. Please don’t be alarmed by that: I’m friendly (at least I try to be).

I just wanted to drop a comment in here to try and set the record straight. Our company has spent (and continues to spend) time and money to protect this blogger’s interests. For instance, early on – when we were first ordered by the court to disclose the identity of the blogger – we informed the court that, before any disclosure could be made, the law required that the blogger be notified and have an opportunity to object.

Our bottomline position is to protect our customers’ interests while also complying with the law, in this case, the court’s final order. Net: We’re in a tough position, too, and simply trying to do the right thing. I hope that counts for something.

Pete Abel
Vice President, Community Relations
Suddenlink Communications

My heartburn is that Suddenlink has not filed any objections, especially early on, despite there being no actual Texas legislation requiring the company to turn over records except in criminal matters.

Most of what has been cited has been out of state, because of that simple reason.

And, you don't need a blogger account. Click other and fill in whatever you wish.

I know you have had a legal presence at the proceedings. My contention is that your company should be the ones petitioning the Writ, instead of me. Rather than that, an agreement with Essent was reached for a disclosure. Had I not retained James, some very bad law might have been written from the bench, and had a precedent....frank

Note: Was looking for a "Pipes Up" tie in and ran into this accidentally. Crossroads seemed fitting....frank


Anonymous said...

After all this time, finally a comment from Suddenlink...I really do appreciate your friendly comment, but as a long time (8 years!) customer of your company, I really expected someone from your company to pipe up a lot earlier.

I reread the privacy policy on the Suddenlink website, and still a part that I just can't get past jumps out at me. Now that someone from Suddenlink is commenting, can you please clarify this?

"Federal law provides generally that the government must obtain a court order for disclosure of Your Information and can do so only upon a showing of clear and convincing evidence that you are reasonably suspected of engaging in criminal activity, and the information sought would be material to the case." My question is: doesn't Suddenlink have to find that there is CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT THE BLOGGERS HAVE BEEN ENGAGING IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY before releasing any information?

So far there have been only accusations, no proof has been submitted into evidence!

If any information is released without these findings, not only will Suddenlink violate their privacy policy, but apparently federal law.
Surely that will open up an opportunity for lawsuits?

At the very least, my business will go to Pete...Pete Starnes of Neato!

You sort of hit on the crux of the matter: This isn't a criminal case. Had it been, an order from the court would have been proper. As it is, Texas has no procedure on the books for disclosure in a civil case.

Actually, there are two points not covered, one begetting the other. The second being a Catch-22: Had my lawyer filed in a standard fashion, the court would have compelled my name.

Kind of defeats the purpose. In order to file my objection to the discovery of my name, I had to say who I was....

But, you get into these situations when you interpret outside of established law.

This isn't the days of Judge Roy Bean, and Texas isn't a territory, despite what the boys from Nashville (or North Carolina) have to say....frank

Anonymous said...

To Suddenlink:

Although I wish you has said something earlier, I do appreciate hearing from you. We know you're involved in this affair as well, and to that there is no objection. The main concern here is the silence from your end- that's what got a lot of folks concerned.

The local judge grossly misinterpreted the law in his decision, and so far the court in Texarkana has seen fit to stay that order. This topic is way too important to sweep under the rug, as it were, with vague references to laws that don't exist or mis-interpretations of current laws. Personally, I don't see any criminal intent or actions here, nor do I see any wrongdoing that can be punished in a civil trial. This speaks closely to the First Amendment of the Constitution, as well as the right to point out wrongs performed by others.

Your policy as mentioned by another poster I can understand, but it will be up to the judges, obviously, to determine whether or not criminal activity was ongoing. A first-year law student would be hard-pressed to find such, and I don't see where our local district judge was referring to in his decision. I seriously doubt you or your legal eagles will find any shred of criminal wrongdoing- after all, we're not advocating the violent overthrow of the government, or the murder of Essent officials (even though we find them repugnant).

All the same, thanks for finally speaking out.

Anonymous said...

I am just curious, how much f__king money have you spent on this thing?

Kinda like Iraq, if you knew it was going to turn out this way, would you do it again?

Good question, Matt. While putting my finger in a light socket isn't the most brilliant thing that I've done, there have been some changes made. And it's helped consolidate a large number of peoples' feelings towards the hospital.

It's like a tiger by the tail: When do you let go? And, these are issues that I do care about. Would someone else put in this kind of effort?

Several hot-button issues have appeared in the last couple weeks that may soon come to a head, and the whole issue of anonymous blogging is being raised in the Texas legal system.

Back, however, to the question. Too much for what I make, good value for the legal representation I'm receiving.

The appeals court judge asked the lawyer from N.C. what specific items were defamitory. The lawyer said all of them. The judge asked for a specific instance and the lawyer couldn't respond. I think I'm getting much better value than that.

I made a comment about a 'free' blog months ago. Nothing is free.

I should have gone with the advertising that is offered with blogger--but I felt that it would impede the message.

I should have taken monitary help when it was offered. Silly me.

Would I do it again, knowing the cost? Ask me when the final bill is in....frank

Anonymous said...

Who's Matt?

Actually, he's a 37yr old Dallas mortgage/investment banker...frank

fac_p said...

I really hadn't gotten pissed until Matt threatened to out me. He had been putting in comments, and I'd been studiously avoiding publishing them. He put in some threats, so I did some digging. This is somewhat representative:

I have your name :)Remember my comment to you from a few days ago....I am just trying to figure out when is the best time to put an end to your little bag o' tricks......You are not making me happy by refusing to post the comments of me funning with you and pointing out issues like Christus selling hospitals when they have milked them for every thing they are worth. You are really starting to make me frustrated......I feel like I am going to have to be that guy on MSNBC that hosts To Catch a Predator.......I think I would like to at least see something from you that, without editorial comment, acknowledges that Christus did what they did, that you only comment on my misspells and foul language but not that of others that have drunk your Kool Aid.....very slective, Frank, very.....Maybe I could out you around Halloween...that seems kinda fitting. Or maybe earlier, if you don't start giving my point of view/comments the attention they deserve. Or, if you are a good boy, maybe I will let it slide for a while......
Sweet dreams.........

Since I'd already chided Christus, no great loss. But, some other comments were kind of over the top--saying.... Well, let me put it this way: Should I publish all those, Matt might find a rather warm reception should he show up here...some people do take offense....

And for this Essent has to use the court?....

The other thing, aren't mortgage investors busier than this trying to dig out of the holes they put themselves in? Maybe he diversified a bit and has a stake in Essent!

Anonymous said...

Re: Actually, he's a 37yr old Dallas mortgage/investment banker...

Oh! I thought he was someone important...

Anonymous said...

and matt has your name how?????

Quoted from him: (I also know who you are as a result of one of my in laws who is from Paris and closer to you than you probably realize......:)

Anonymous said...

After reading Matt's drivel, one has to wonder just how successful of a mortgage/investment banker he really is....does he not have enough to do, or is business really that bad?

And for the record, I haven't had Kool-Aid since I was a kid, decades ago.......

Note to self: in case of future need for such services, delete Matt's name from database........

fac_p said...

With as much time on his hands as he devotes to IU sports and racing blogs--a good portion during working hours--seems like he'd be freed up after work for family...oh, yeah, I forgot, he isn't married and he was 'just looking' at the on-line dating.

'course, if he came across to them, like he does here, I can see why he was 'just looking'...and they were just leaving....

Anonymous said...

This Matt guy sounds awfully immature for his age. Kinda weird since he obviously watches that Catch a Preditor show and he's browsing on line dating sites. Sounds like a perv to me. He must get off on threatening people. I bet he's a short, ugly little worm. LOL

Anonymous said...

Hello ...

This is Pete Abel from Suddenlink, once again. My apologies for not commenting sooner on this thread, but I was unfortunately delayed on other matters. Regardless, I wanted to at least get back to all of you with a general response to the first anonymous comment on this post, re: our privacy policy.

The excerpt that was pulled out of that policy applies to government requests for information. The sentences right before that excerpt address other types of requests we might receive. Notably, on civil matters, the policy reads as follows:

"We also receive discovery requests in civil litigation. In all such cases, we cooperate by providing such information as the law requires. Federal law generally allows civil parties to obtain information about you only with a court order and notice to you."

As I understand it, that is the course we followed in this matter.

Furthermore, earlier in our published policy, there's another relevant passage under "special exceptions," with comparable verbage to what I cite above, namely:

"We reserve the right to disclose Your Information if we have a good faith belief that it is necessary to ... comply with the law or legal process served on us, including, but not limited to, subpoenas, court orders, warrants and summonses ... "

Net: While I'm not qualified to debate the law, or distinctions between state and federal laws, I do believe (at the very least) that our actions in this situation were consistent with our published policy.

For what it's worth ...