How The Ohio Cable Modem Uncappers Fared

from the a-little-perspective-please dept

Dave writes in with a link following up on a story from last year about some Ohio residents who found themselves facing federal crimes prosecution for simply uncapping their cable modems. The details of the story were sickening. While you can understand why a cable company might get annoyed at someone for uncapping their cable modem to allow for faster speeds – at most you’d expect a warning letter or (worst case) cutting off the service. Instead, this cable company happened to “estimate” damages of over $11,000 a person (with no justification). It just so happens that was the level needed to get the FBI interested – so suddenly these folks who wanted a little more bandwidth found themselves facing federal charges. In a followup to the story, it was noted that the cable company was coming down particularly hard on a lawyer they didn’t like due to some of his actions as a local prosecutor. So now, a year later, Broadband Reports has written up a followup to look at what happened to all of the accused uncappers. Most of them settled, paying thousands of dollars in fines and agreeing to community service. Some cases were dropped outright. The lawyer, though, went to court – and won. It turned out that the terms of service from the cable company didn’t actually say you couldn’t uncap your modem. No matter what the result, it’s still disturbing to see the FBI getting involved with some people who just wanted faster internet connections.

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