T-Mobile CEO Tries to Call Out Civil Liberties Group, the Internet Claps Back

Source: AP
Source: AP

T-Mobile CEO John Legere, a zany corporate brand ambassador with a pension for spouting off loudly and profanely about anyone who throws shade at T-Mobile, took to Twitter Thursday to address claims that the company's Binge On video program is just a throttling mechanism in disguise.

Chief among his interrogators was the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the digital civil liberties group that initially brought the claims to light after its investigation showed that T-Mobile was intentionally slowing down video speeds for its customers. The EFF called for everyone to show up at high noon on Twitter during a Q & A with Legere to hold him accountable.

"We've drafted a few questions, but it's far better if you come up with your own questions, in your own words," the EFF said on its blog.

And when the EFF showed up, John Legere posted a video reply with his famous rhetoric in full force:

"What Binge On does is that it includes a proprietary technology, and what the technology does is not only detect the video stream, but select the appropriate bitrate to optimize to the mobile divine," Legere said in the tweeted video.  "That's 'Part A' of my answer." Good start.

"'Part B' of my answer is: Who the fuck are you anyway, EFF?" Legere continued. "Why are you stirring up so much trouble, and who pays you?"

Ah. Unfortunately, many people know who the EFF is, and EFF lawyers and supporters took to the internet to snap back at Legere, saying that the work the EFF does is vital to internet freedoms and security.

Who the fuck is the EFF? For 25 years, the EFF has functioned as one of the primary litigators and defenders of issues involving digital surveillance, data monitoring, privacy and cyber security. Think of them as the ACLU for internet stuff.

By asking "who pays" the EFF, John Legere perhaps meant to imply that the EFF receives funding from his competitors, Verizon and AT&T (who he's referred to as "Dumb and Dumber"). But it's clear that most EFF funding comes largely from donations:


Legere has since backed away from his fiery rhetoric, clarifying that yes, he knows who the EFF is and that he's simply trying to fight for consumer choice.

Watch below for John Legere's full explainer of how the Binge On system works:

Source: YouTube

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Jack Smith IV

Jack Smith IV is a senior writer covering technology and inequality. Send tips, comments and feedback to jack@mic.com.

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