Prevents Falsely Accused Grandmother Of Getting Kicked Off The Internet By The MPAA

from the but-who-will-protect-anyone-else? dept

One of the problems we've had with the whole "three strikes" concept that would kick people off the internet due to accusations, not convictions, of file sharing, is the fact that we hear all the time about innocent users accused of file sharing. Greg Sandoval, over at recently came across a grandmother who was falsely accused multiple times of file sharing, and her ISP, Qwest, was threatening to kick her off the internet. We had not heard that Qwest had signed on with a "three strikes" program, so it's a bit of news that it's one of the companies who will accept bogus accusations. Not only that, but Qwest even told her that no other provider would grant her service because Qwest would let those other service providers "know her name and what she did." Thanks, Qwest!

The problem, of course, was that Cathi Paradiso didn't share any of the movies or TV shows she was accused of sharing, and she works from home as a recruiter -- so losing her internet access would be devastating. But the only way she got Qwest to back down was because Sandoval and became interested in the story and convinced Qwest to look deeper. But if Paradiso hadn't been able to draw attention to herself from the press, she would have had no recourse. There was no one she could appeal to, and no official process to respond to the bogus claims of Hollywood. She got lucky that was willing to pick up her story and contact Qwest, but what about anyone else threatened with bogus notices? Meanwhile, BayTSP, the company whose "evidence" has been shown to be flimsy and easily falsified in the past, stands by accusing her of file sharing, saying it was her own fault for having an open WiFi network, suggesting there's something inherently wrong with sharing your WiFi. Yes, the company stands by its false accusation. Nice company.

Filed Under: due process, false accusation, file sharing, three strikes
Companies: baytsp, qwest

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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 1 Feb 2010 @ 12:49pm


    "At the end of the day, if her internet connection is that important to her, she should protect it."

    It's amazing how reasonable you can make slapping a victim sound....

    "She was falsely accused multiple times, you would think that maybe she would take a minute to secure her connection."

    Sigh, perhaps, but it would also stand to reason that after accusing grandma multiple times, the ISP and the firm gathering the data might drop the big bad wolf act and reconsider their method for accusing people....

    "She allowed anyone and everyone to use her access, and she is responsible for it."

    This is getting dumb. Just because she makes the free choice not to lock up her connection shouldn't render her responsible for what others do. Oh, and going back to earlier in your comment:

    "it's like letting someone else drive your car. Don't be shocked if you get a bunch of parking tickets or you car gets seized at the border full of pot or illegal aliens."

    That isn't even close to the proper analogy. It's like not LOCKING your car and it gets stolen by someone who uses it to do all the things you said. Grandma is lending out her WiFi...she's just not locking it up. There is and should be no legal requirement to lock up what is yours, and not doing so, as in the case of the car, should not render you responsible for the actions of others.

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