So Is Verizon Cutting Users Off Or Not?

from the probably-not,-but-they-need-to-clarify dept

Well, well, well. A few days ago, News.com had a story that got a lot of attention saying that Verizon was kicking users off of its service after it had received accusations of file sharing. At the time, we wondered if this was a misstatement by a Verizon spokesperson, and in an update, Verizon insisted that News.com had misquoted its spokesperson, and it had not kicked anyone off. And yet, lots of folks are still reporting that Verizon is kicking users off for file sharing. And, now, News.com has come back and stands by its original story.

Reading through the details, what it appears to have happened was that a Verizon person misspoke, and News.com accurately reported the misstatement (suggesting that users had been kicked off). Verizon is still claiming it "reserves the right" to kick users off, but has not actually done so. Hopefully it realizes that doing so based solely on accusation is a huge mistake and one over which it would almost certainly face serious backlash.

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  • icon
    yourrealname (profile), 25 Jan 2010 @ 4:22am

    I think the real issue is that Verizon does not know how to profit from telling paying customers they are no longer allowed to be customers.

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

  • icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 25 Jan 2010 @ 5:46am

    Let's put it to a test

    I have Verizon FiOs and constantly have my uTorrent running. Now, it is public domain, creative commons, and free, but how do they know? I have shared well over 7T since I got the connection in May. So far, not even an E-Mail.

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

    • icon
      Nicholas Overstreet (profile), 25 Jan 2010 @ 6:04am

      Re: Let's put it to a test

      Because if you are doing as you say you are, then you would never be accused of illegal file sharing, thus you have nothing to worry about. Upload away good seeder.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2010 @ 8:09am

        Re: Re: Let's put it to a test

        Because if you are doing as you say you are, then you would never be accused of illegal file sharing, thus you have nothing to worry about.

        Yeah, because everybody knows that no innocent person has ever been falsely accused of anything.

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

        • identicon
          RD, 25 Jan 2010 @ 8:36am

          Re: Re: Re: Let's put it to a test

          "Because if you are doing as you say you are, then you would never be accused of illegal file sharing, thus you have nothing to worry about.

          Yeah, because everybody knows that no innocent person has ever been falsely accused of anything."

          Thats right! Remember, if it even has a slight appearance of something wrong, then its wrong! NO innocent person has ever been convicted of something they didnt do! If you are accused, you MUST be guilty! If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear!

          And is it any wonder why the whole world thinks people like this are complete muppets?

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

  • icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), 25 Jan 2010 @ 5:47am

    I Hope Not

    I am a Verizon Customer (FIOS). I Switched from Comcast because of the metering issue and I wanted the higher bandwidth. Now to be fair I am not a person who does much in the way of file sharing but I do have a lot of P2P traffic that passes through my network for other reasons (all quite legal I might add) and I hope that they don't start pulling the network shaping and throttling that I was dealing with from Comcast.

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

  • icon
    EEJ (profile), 25 Jan 2010 @ 7:50am

    Hmmm

    I'm not sure about them kicking people off for being accused of file sharing, but they are definitely starting to forward the warning letters from the RIAA/MPAA.

    I received my first email from Verizon stating that a copyright holder had notified them that someone at the IP address that I was assigned at a certain date and time was sharing a copyrighted file via bittorrent.

    The letter claims that Verizon has not provided my information to the copyright holder, and will not do so, unless they receive a legal subpoena from the copyright holder, and they nicely add that "this may be from an unauthorized user or uninformed child, however you are legally responsible as the account owner".

    It says "infringement level: 1" on it. Anyone know what the levels are, and if this is stated by the copyright holder or provided by Verizon?

    Strangely, the letter does not indicate who the claimed copyright holder is, so there's no way for me to contact them directly for more information.

    FYI: I was using Utorrent, and I believe I had encryption enabled, and was also using peerguardian2 (although I have had troubles recently getting it to update from the default locations)

    Mike, please let me know if you'd like a copy of the email I received or further information about it.

    Also, has anyone ever looked into the legality of whether or not using bittorrent to share a copyrighted file actually constitutes sharing the whole file, seeing as how everybody is only providing very small pieces of it individually?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Jan 2010 @ 9:19am

      Re: Hmmm

      "Also, has anyone ever looked into the legality of whether or not using bittorrent to share a copyrighted file actually constitutes sharing the whole file, seeing as how everybody is only providing very small pieces of it individually?"

      Actually with file sharing Illegal or not the real question is.. Is how They Gathered The Evidence Legal And What Evidence do they have? Most the time they are just connecting to the swarm, gathering the list of IP's and filling requests based off the IP's listed in the swarm. If they ever tried to get me for illegal sharing the first thing id be telling my lawyers to do is attack their method of evidence gathering as I doubt they could "PROVE" that they had sufficient evidence in the first place to even accuse me of it, and then there's the whole chain of custody for evidence, etc. I highly doubt their evidence gathering methods would stand up in court against the testimony of networking experts especially when theres ample programs out there to spoof your IP/MAC address.

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

  • icon
    EEJ (profile), 25 Jan 2010 @ 7:52am

    RE: Chronno

    Chronno,

    The key part here is that they have to be notified by a copyright holder that you are infringing on their copyright. Essentially, Verizon isn't watching what you are doing, but apparently has decided that being notified by a third party 3 times is enough evidence to conclude you should not be using their services.

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

  • identicon
    CB, 25 Jan 2010 @ 7:53am

    I have Version DSL and I received an email warning with specific titles mentioned that I had downloaded via torrent - they were TV shows running on cable, which I don't have. I thought that was weird to warn me...I thought I would've gotten an email about d-loaded movies before TV shows.

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

  • icon
    Pangolin (profile), 25 Jan 2010 @ 8:40am

    Confirmed - Verizon cut off

    My brother called over the weekend. Verizon cut him off DSL.

    The reason, however, was not file sharing. They claim he has a virus.

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

    • identicon
      RD, 25 Jan 2010 @ 8:50am

      Re: Confirmed - Verizon cut off

      "My brother called over the weekend. Verizon cut him off DSL.

      The reason, however, was not file sharing. They claim he has a virus."

      I've run into this a couple of times. What it turned out to be was some kind of virus/spyware that was spamming with my PC (I was actually running stuff in a VirtualPC at the time). They cut me off, then warned me to get my PC cleaned up and to not let this happen again. I would have your friend look to this area first, as it can be insidious and sometimes hard to root out.

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

  • icon
    Zee (profile), 27 Jan 2010 @ 10:08pm

    Exactly

    I don't think they can gather enough evidence to prove someone shared an illegal file/movie/music through P2P.

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

  • identicon
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