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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    dave blevins (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Verizon hiring Lawyers ...

    ... to fight all the suits kicked(pi$$ed)-off users will bring.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    New Law?

    From the notice sent by Verizon to a subscriber: "While this activity may have occurred without your permission or knowledge by an unauthorized user, ... you are legally responsible for all activity originating from your account."

    When did we get THAT law?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    Re: New Law?

    "When did we get THAT law?"

    Let's hope no one uses your phone during a kidnapping to call in the ransom demand.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Man and i really was looking forward to Verizon bringing FIOS to my Area... oh well if this is what they want to do they can keep their connection, and i will keep my money (plus i am kinda digging the U-Verse thing right now).

     

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  6.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Re: New Law?

    perhaps yet another case of people simply making up laws to suit themselves?

    though if it'd been here,(it's not :P) I'd think it more likely that it got passed in the last minute rush in parliament at the end of the preceding year

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Re: New Law?

    It is not a law. It derives from a contract between the company its subscribers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: New Law?

    Right. So the limitation of all communication by a company that functionally provides such services in the area of "communication" can now withdraw all telecommunication services when enacted upon by a third party.

    Tell me where to sign up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: New Law? (revised)

    Right. So the limitation of all communication by a company that functionally provides such services in the area of "communication" can now withdraw all telecommunication services when enacted upon by a third party who has a profit motive.

    Tell me where to sign up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Wolfy, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    I ditched Verizon about 4 years ago due to over-charging-as-a-normal-business-practice on my phone bill. When I heard they were getting into the ISP business, I figured they'd be the first to toady up to the then rethuglican/FBI run administration.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    IshmaelDS (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:05pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    known coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:06am

    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..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anony1, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:49am

    it has never kicked anyone off its network for file sharing accusations....

    It just intends to in the future. =) Man get it right.
    I think that the giant V in the verizon logo is a little TOO close to the V used in the series about lizard people disgused as humans. This explains their cut throat corporate ways....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: New Law?

    It is not a law. It derives from a contract between the company its subscribers.

    All that that contract can do is to transfer a liability from Verizon to you. Verizon cannot transfer a non-existent liability. If Verizon would not have been laible then neither can you be no matter what the contract says.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    fleck, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:51am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Re:

    it has never kicked anyone off its network for file sharing accusations....
    It just intends to in the future. =) Man get it right.


    "We've cut some people off," Verizon Online spokeswoman Bobbi Henson told CNET.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Anony1, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    @AC: READ MUCH?!

    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.

    IDIOT...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:09pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:33pm

    Re:

    @AC: READ MUCH?!
    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.
    IDIOT...


    While you may claim that CNET is lying, I have yet to see them print a retraction.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: New Law?

    All that that contract can do is to transfer a liability from Verizon to you. Verizon cannot transfer a non-existent liability.

    That's apparently not what Verizon believes. They seem to believe that they can legislate new laws through their corporate policies. That's how things work in a corpocracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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