Verizon — Who Promised Not To Do This — Says It's Kicking Accused File Sharers Off The Internet [Update: Or… Maybe Not]

from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept

This one seems odd. Verizon is among the few ISPs that has vehemently spoken out against RIAA demands that it kick file sharers offline. When the RIAA announced that it was cutting back on lawsuits to work with ISPs, Verizon was the first to loudly proclaim that it would not participate. And this wasn’t a huge surprise, given that Verizon was actually the only major ISP to fight the RIAA, back when the RIAA simply demanded names of file sharers without a court order. And yet… according to a Verizon spokesperson, the company has now started kicking accused file sharers off of its network. It’s no secret that Verizon had started to pass along RIAA letters, but actually cutting off users without any court order or any proof beyond an IP address is a huge and extremely dangerous step. I’m hoping that this Verizon spokesperson misspoke, because otherwise Verizon may be facing a pretty massive backlash. Update: Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, let the backtracking commence. Verizon is apparently now claiming (to Broadband Reports) that it was all an exaggeration and that Verizon only said that it “reserved the right” to kick users off:

I’m not aware that we’ve ever terminated anyone’s account for excessive consumption, although we reserve the right to do so. Verizon has no bandwidth caps. That part of the CNET story is wrong. I did not say “we’ve cut people off.” I said we reserve the right to do so.

Update 2: And, again, Broadband Reports comes through. It has a new update with Verizon now claiming that, no, it has never kicked anyone off its network for file sharing accusations. It might want to tell its spokespeople that for future reference.

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Companies: riaa, verizon

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Comments on “Verizon — Who Promised Not To Do This — Says It's Kicking Accused File Sharers Off The Internet [Update: Or… Maybe Not]”

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20 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

A few years ago, my gut said Verizon would eventually do this. Of course, all it takes is one person who uses Vonage or VoIP to attempt to make a 9-1-1 call that won’t go through to create a real nasty PR story.

This too, my gut says will occur in its own time. It may be a year or two from now, but may God Bless that poor, poor soul and their family.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: New Law?

You are obviously not an attorney who routinely deals with contract law, either under general state law or its UCC provisions.

What you are referring to are indemnities, and they are only one of many contractual provisions.

Again, there is no “law” as earlier noted. This is a contract matter between two parties, and if one of the parties breaches the contract it can be terminated at the election of the non-breaching party.

IshmaelDS (profile) says:

Re: New Law?

I could be wrong, seeing as I don’t live in the US, but I think I remember reading about that law, or one like it, it was to do with business’ having to keep records of all traffic that went through their network to the internet. If I remember right it was to do with the Patriot Act and child porn was the big thing people were talking about. How if someone use’s say Starbucks wifi to find child porn it’s the responsibility of Starbucks to report it and keep records. It’s all a little fuzzy now.

known coward says:

I know it is hard for some of you to understand, but we have professed democrat as president now. The current democratic president pretty much supports all the invasive measures taken by that “evil” patriot act. The current president is the one who is calling for a nationwide database on all Americans. I do not recall the most recent republican president calling for a national database on all Americans for any kind of records..

fleck says:

Speakeasy actually did this to me

I ran an open Tor node on my business internet connection provided by Speakeasy DSL. The emailed me about three times ove a six month period about allegations of copyright infringement. With the third event, there was a phone call.

Then, one day I came home and had no internet connection. I called in when service wasn’t back in 24 hours, and sure enough: the abuse department told me that I was disconnected because of copyright infringement. I explained the situation to him, and he told me it didn’t matter whether I was infringing or not: the mere *allegation* violated their terms of service, and that I had to change my internet usage to prevent the warning, or be disconnected.

I told him not to wait, and to disconnect me immediately. They lost $100/month for pretty standard DSL service.

To their credit, they usually have very efficient and competent customer service. I was surprised by their policy in this case. Let future customers beware.

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