There's no doubt that AT&T would "get the message" if its data network crashes on Friday afternoon due to a Denial of Service attack mounted by its own customers. I think the first message it would receive is that iPhone owners are selfish people who don't care about the tens of millions of other customers who depend on AT&T's network each and every day.
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!
I'm all for a little civil disobedience, and I suppose that technically iPhone owners would be doing nothing wrong or illegal by using services that they pay for, but this goes too far. Knowingly participating in an activity that prevents other paying customers from using the services that they pay for could be considered a breach of contract with AT&T. It might lead to iPhone users being kicked off AT&T for good.
No single customer has the right to deprive an other of their service. If I were a business owner and used AT&T's services, I'd be mad as hell if my employees were suddenly unable to use their phones during vital business hours (especially if the business is retail oriented) due to a customer-generated DOS attack.
AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega has admitted that the company's network has a few weak spots (i.e., New York City and San Francisco, which happen to be hubs of iPhone concentration). AT&T has pledged to improve its network in these and other regions.
If "Operation Chokehold" is carried out successfully and brings down AT&T's data network even for a little while, there's no telling how the company and other customers will react. I see a big potential for lawsuits.